THE BIG SQUEEZE

Financial returns for most leading supermarket chains made it seem like the industry was caught in a pressure cooker during the first half, and the lid is unlikely to come off during the second half, industry analysts told SN.

First-half sales were hurt by the continuing downturn in the economy and strong competition from non-traditional operators, they pointed out, which resulted in a severe drop in operating income as most supermarket operators cut gross margins to boost sales

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