PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway last week declared it had achieved price parity with its largest conventional grocery store competitors. Sales parity is next. The retailer acknowledged that deflation and declining sales volume were behind a 4.1% decline in identical-store sales for the fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 2. However, volume was flat with the third quarter and increased in the final weeks of the fourth, “which is indicative of how the marketplace is digesting the price movements ...

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