News and rumors of supermarket merger activity appear to be on the rise this year, but industry observers don't expect it will mean a return to the vigorous wheeling and dealing that marked the late 1990s. Increased consolidation, they predicted, will accompany more precise strategies and, in some cases, different objectives than the last time around, reflecting an increased aversion to the risk and costs of entering new markets given changes in the competitive landscape. Retailers have ...

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