NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The shift to centralized buying by large distribution companies has forced C.B. Ragland here to exit the wholesale grocery business and liquidate its inventory, said Michael Hayes, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. "A variety of trends came together over a period of time," he explained. Among them was the move by Kroger and Fleming to close area distribution centers and relocate buying offices out of state. "Those moves reduced our coverage from the ...

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