BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, than Steve Burd recently paid Wal-Mart Stores a very large compliment. The chairman, president and chief executive officer of Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., told a conference of investment analysts late last month that when Safeway sits down at the table with negotiators from United Food and Commercial Worker Union locals, his company needs "to narrow the gap" with Wal-Mart. Industry observers told SN they couldn't ...

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