When commercial bread sales slumped six months ago, then dropped to a negative position three months later, executives at Acme Markets of Virginia became concerned. They decided to motivate store managers by offering cash prizes for sales increases in the bread aisle. The contest, which began Dec. 1, has so far pulled sales of bread products up by 13%, according to Ed Kolodzieski, president of the 14-store chain headquartered in North Tazewell, Va. "It's one of those categories that is not ...

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