SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. Market here has been stockpiling commodities whose prices are likely to rise, chain officials said last week during a conference call with analysts. Phil Smith, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said approximately 12% of Stater's warehouse inventory represents forward buys the chain made in advance of escalating prices on coffee, cereal and other items. “We took advantage of forward buys as much as we could,” Jack Brown, chairman ...

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