Independents need a niche to propel themselves into the 21st century.
And while many such operators have already found the calling, others continue the struggle to survive amid intense competition from large chains and supercenters in many parts of the country.
For example, Carl's IGA, with four stores in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, hasn't turned a profit in six years. The company is straddled with 19 chain stores and five supercenters. Retail square footage in