The nature of competition in the retail food industry is poised to change for several fundamental reasons, including the shift to offering meal items, the ongoing wave of consolidation and the entry of Wal-Mart Stores with a conventional supermarket model. Among these change-drivers, it's the last that probably has received the least amount of comment, but which is likely to be nearly as important as the other two in the long run. You'll find a lengthy discussion of these trends, and of ...

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