American Stores Co., Salt Lake City, said total sales increased 1.8% during the third quarter and 2.8% year to date due in part to increased capital spending and higher drug-store sales. Food-store sales decreased 1.2% in the 13-week quarter to $3.26 billion, compared with $3.30 billion a year ago. Comparable food-store sales decreased 0.7% in the 39-week period, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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