ABINGDON, Va. — K-VA-T Food Stores here had a busy 2006. The 96-store chain, operating under the Food City banner, acquired eight Bi-Lo stores and converted them to its core banner last year, helping boost its share of the Knoxville, Tenn., market. “We had a year of transition last year,” said Steve Smith, president and chief executive officer, K-VA-T, and the incoming chairman of Food Marketing Institute. “We opened a lot of new stores and quite frankly closed a number of stores — we ...

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