GAUGING WAL-MART'S THREE FOOD-RETAILING FORMATS

The conventional food-distribution industry "reacts to Wal-Mart as if it's paralyzed," says one trade observer. He's quoted in the news feature that anchors this week's issue-wide coverage of Wal-Mart Stores. But should that be the case?In a way, that question is the underlying theme cutting across this Wal-Mart issue of SN. But before we get to that question, let's take a look at why this is a special

The conventional food-distribution industry "reacts to Wal-Mart as if it's paralyzed," says one trade observer. He's quoted in the news feature that anchors this week's issue-wide coverage of Wal-Mart Stores. But should that be the case?

In a way, that question is the underlying theme cutting across this Wal-Mart issue of SN. But before we get to that question, let's take a look at why this is a special time for Wal-Mart. It was 20 years ago that the discounter opened its first member

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