PORTLAND, Ore. -- At Fred Meyer Stores here, food is central. After years of offering food on one side of its multidepartment stores or the other, Fred Meyer is putting the supermarket at the center of the store, flanked by apparel and hardlines. "Putting food in the middle positions the department better for customers. And, it's easier to operate with food in the middle, rather than having a store with three separate entrances and food on one side or the other," said Mary Sammons, ...

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