RALPHS KEYS NEW FORMAT TO UPSCALE, PERISHABLES

COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery Co. here unveiled its newest format last week -- an upscale, perishables-oriented store called Fresh Fare.The company also disclosed plans to complete its conversion of the 55 Hughes stores to the Ralphs banner by mid-1999. Ralphs said it has already converted 17 Hughes stores but will pause until after the holidays before completing the changeover at the other 38.

COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery Co. here unveiled its newest format last week -- an upscale, perishables-oriented store called Fresh Fare.

The company also disclosed plans to complete its conversion of the 55 Hughes stores to the Ralphs banner by mid-1999. Ralphs said it has already converted 17 Hughes stores but will pause until after the holidays before completing the changeover at the other 38. Sam Duncan, Ralphs president, said the chain's plans will not be changed by the propos

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