THE SITUATION CERTAINLY LOOKS BLEAK: Food costs are up, gas is creeping closer to $4 a gallon, health care spending is growing at nearly three times the rate of inflation and the housing market is stagnant. As a result, consumer confidence is the lowest it's been in years — more than three-quarters of the population believe the economy is currently in recession, numerous reports show. And the hits just keep on coming. Historically, supermarkets have fared quite well during tough economic ...

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