For supermarket operators seeking to gain an edge on the competition, the following pages offer some suggestions to help reduce costs and drive sales. First, as companies like Stater Bros. and Unified Grocers have already discovered, the current environment offers an opportunity to refinance debt at low rates. It's “a real opportunity that shouldn't be passed up,” said Susan Anderson, an analyst with Citigroup, New York. “The markets are open, and you can get great deals now.” (See below.) ...

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