DISCOUNTERS NO HOLIDAY THREAT: ANALYSTS

NEW YORK -- Discounters across the country had a strong holiday season this year, but not at the expense of most supermarkets, according to analysts.That's because much of the fourth-quarter gains by discounters came from general merchandise, a category still not heavily emphasized at supermarkets, except for those supermarkets that operate supercenter formats.Deborah Weinswig, associate director

NEW YORK -- Discounters across the country had a strong holiday season this year, but not at the expense of most supermarkets, according to analysts.

That's because much of the fourth-quarter gains by discounters came from general merchandise, a category still not heavily emphasized at supermarkets, except for those supermarkets that operate supercenter formats.

Deborah Weinswig, associate director at Bear Stearns here, said that Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark., saw a 4% to

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