SPREADING OUT

Ahold, the American-Dutch food-retailing giant, isn't the first retailer to figure out that there's some wisdom in operating in more than one trade channel, but, when it comes to this country at least, it's moving more rapidly down that road than is any other retailer. Ahold, which has a strong retailing presence on the Atlantic seaboard with the five chains it owns, may have come to something of

Ahold, the American-Dutch food-retailing giant, isn't the first retailer to figure out that there's some wisdom in operating in more than one trade channel, but, when it comes to this country at least, it's moving more rapidly down that road than is any other retailer. Ahold, which has a strong retailing presence on the Atlantic seaboard with the five chains it owns, may have come to something of an epiphany when, late last year, it abandoned an effort to acquire Pathmark Stores, a chain in t

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