SMART & FINAL ACCELERATES NEW-STORE OPENINGS

LOS ANGELES -- Smart & Final here plans to boost the number of new-store openings by 30% to 40% over the next five or six years, possibly opening 70 to 90 additional stores, Etienne Snollaerts, president and chief executive officer, announced during a conference call with analysts.

Smart & Final, which operates 230 stores, opened three stores last year, down from six stores in 2002 and nine in 2001. Yet that number should increase, Snollaerts said, as the company shifts

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