SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Penn Traffic Co. here is determined to avoid getting caught off guard. The $3.3 billion chain is aggressively tailoring its expansion and merchandising to shore up positions in local markets and improve performance against a growing number of supercenter competitors and other operators. The supercenter competition currently includes Wal-Mart and Kmart supercenters in New York and Meijer Inc. in Ohio. "Our balance sheet has enabled us to maintain a very aggressive growth ...

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