SMOOTH OPERATOR

Fresh foods can be a tough sell: They're time- and temperature-sensitive; sourcing can be spotty; and pricing is a delicate task. Yet Wal-Mart has been able to adapt its general merchandise and grocery supply chain to accept these finicky products -- and make money doing it.Indeed, Wal-Mart's move into fresh foods ushered in a new era of efficiency that changed the way perishables are sourced, transported

Fresh foods can be a tough sell: They're time- and temperature-sensitive; sourcing can be spotty; and pricing is a delicate task. Yet Wal-Mart has been able to adapt its general merchandise and grocery supply chain to accept these finicky products -- and make money doing it.

Indeed, Wal-Mart's move into fresh foods ushered in a new era of efficiency that changed the way perishables are sourced, transported and merchandised in-store. Each component of the strategy is focused on reducin

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