CHICAGO -- Two words can sum up supermarket retailing here -- Dominick's and Jewel. A closer look reveals Chicagoland as a proving ground for independents desperate for growth, if not survival. And the arena is one where membership clubs have been the major alternate channel threat, not Wal-Mart Supercenters. Beyond being the "hog butcher for the world," Chicago is a big food-consumption town. Ranked in the top three of the top 50 metro-market areas in the nation for food sales, between ...

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