COMBINATIONS

The most obvious way in which food retailing is combining is simply by means of the spate of acquisition activity that's taken place in recent months.But as a glance at the front page of this week's issue will show, retailing is combining in subtler ways, too: Some industry players are busily moving from being holding companies that devolve management to the local level to becoming companies that

The most obvious way in which food retailing is combining is simply by means of the spate of acquisition activity that's taken place in recent months.

But as a glance at the front page of this week's issue will show, retailing is combining in subtler ways, too: Some industry players are busily moving from being holding companies that devolve management to the local level to becoming companies that drive important management activities from a central headquarters.

To start, let

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