STRONG SECOND HALF SEEN, DESPITE WAL-MART

Retailers are anticipating a good second half -- despite encroachments from Wal-Mart supercenters -- with a strong economy likely to continue well past the fall elections, according to interviews conducted by SN."Consumers are still buying many additional items they wouldn't normally buy except in a good economy," said Ron Pearson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hy-Vee, West Des

Retailers are anticipating a good second half -- despite encroachments from Wal-Mart supercenters -- with a strong economy likely to continue well past the fall elections, according to interviews conducted by SN.

"Consumers are still buying many additional items they wouldn't normally buy except in a good economy," said Ron Pearson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa.

"That includes a whole array of general merchandise and specialt

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