The top 50 small chains and independent operators on SN’s annual list are movin’ on up. As a group, sales estimates for those companies on the 2012 list rose 6.3% to $29.5 billion, compared with $27.7 billion a year ago. In addition, for the first time ever, the estimated volumes of the top four companies on the list are at or above $1 billion, with The Fresh Market, Greensboro, N.C., and Grocery Outlet, Berkeley, Calif., each doing about $1.1 billion; followed by Fareway ...

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