One of the most productive uses of the Internet in food retailing is the portal — a secure gateway, or extranet, through which suppliers, brokers, carriers and retailers can share all manner of data. Wal-Mart Stores was the first retailer to recognize the power of giving its suppliers a view into real-time store sales data via its famed Retail Link portal. Since then, numerous retailers and wholesalers have followed suit with portals of varying kinds. Supervalu's SVHarbor portal covers ...

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