The summer of '99 got off to a generally strong start, according to an SN survey of supermarkets around the country. The most popular sales items tended to be the traditional seasonal fare and accoutrements -- picnic foods, meats for grilling, charcoal briquettes -- with a few regional variations, including fresh Pacific salmon in Minnesota and survivalist gear in Utah. The exception to this essentially sunny picture is the Northeast. There, both consumers and retailers have suffered the ...

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