LOS ANGELES — Unified Grocers here said a shift in consumer demand toward lower-cost items contributed to sales and earnings declines for the fiscal first quarter. Net income for the 13-week period, which ended Jan. 2, fell 4.5% to $3.7 million, while sales declined 4.3% to $999.8 million. “While our net earnings were off slightly, our performance is right where we thought we would be at this point in time,” said Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer of the cooperative ...

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