The world of efficiency and quick turns that materialized in the supermarket industry a few years ago had many objectives, spoken and unspoken. In the unspoken category was a long-term goal of retailers' logistical quests: To turn product so quickly that it would be in consumers' pantries before retailers received invoices from their vendors. The effect would be to confer on retailers free use of product, or vendor-financed inventory. And some chains have made strides toward the goal of ...

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