WAL-MART COMPENSATES FOR RISING FOOD COSTS

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week said its gross margins improved in the second quarter, despite food-cost inflation because of lower costs for general merchandise and a more favorable sales mix.es in the quarter were up "almost in double digits" compared with the year-ago quarter, the company said, and sales at supercenters increased 25% over year-ago levels.Total U.S. comparable-store

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week said its gross margins improved in the second quarter, despite food-cost inflation because of lower costs for general merchandise and a more favorable sales mix.

es in the quarter were up "almost in double digits" compared with the year-ago quarter, the company said, and sales at supercenters increased 25% over year-ago levels.

Total U.S. comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 4.1%, including a 3.2% gain at the Wal-

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