Craig Herkert, Supervalu's new president and chief executive officer, learned a valuable lesson early in his career: Supermarkets should be a filter between the supplier and the consumer, not a direct conduit. In a presentation at the Goldman Sachs Retail Conference in New York last month, he told a story about how as a young buyer at the Jewel banner in Chicago about 25 years ago, one of his early mentors taught him how to “pre-select” products for the consumer to avoid proliferating the ...

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