Ingles Markets may be the country's most underestimated supermarket chain. While Wal-Mart's march through the rural South crushed one food retailer after another, Ingles not only survived but grew stronger. Even in a rebounding industry, Ingles' comparable-store sales gains are noteworthy: 11.6% in fiscal 2006, following annual gains of 6.5% and 6.7%, respectively. Tightly held by its founding family and seldom discussed — Ingles officials declined interview requests for this article — ...
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