SAN FRANCISCO -- Food brokers are closing ranks to challenge the growing phenomenon of retail merchandising mandates. The emerging practice -- whereby some supermarket chains designate exclusive or semi-exclusive providers for reset and shelf maintenance work, then bill back their suppliers for the services -- has spurred months of behind-the-scenes maneuvering among retailers, manufacturers and brokers. The issue came front and center at last week's Association of Sales and Marketing Cos. ...

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