Food retailers expect competitive pressures to subdue the potential positive impacts of inflation in 2011, and they also expect the weak employment picture to present ongoing challenges in the year ahead. “I think probably one of the biggest challenges is getting the workforce back to work,” said Mike Needler, chairman and chief executive officer, Fresh Encounter, a 32-store operator based in Findlay, Ohio. “We have had a fairly large number of layoffs throughout the area, and we feel it ...

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