Efficient Consumer Response has finally reached the periodicals departments in major supermarket chains -- and it has struck with a vengeance. Since actions by Safeway and Albertson's to reduce their rosters of magazine wholesalers came to light last August, the banner of vendor consolidation has been taken up by numerous retailers in alternative channels: mass merchandisers, drug chains and convenience stores. Leaders in the other three trade classes, including Wal-Mart Stores, Walgreens ...

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