SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. Markets here contemplates investing “a small amount of gross margin” in the second half of its fiscal year, Jack Brown, chairman and chief executive officer, said Wednesday in a call with bondholders. Gross margin during the second quarter ended March 25 was 27.8% of sales, compared with 26.8% a year ago, when the chain was promoting its 75-year anniversary; and 27.4% for the first half, compared with 26.7% a year ago, “so we ...

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