THE YEAR OF CHANGING PLANS

Supermarket companies are rethinking their real estate strategies in light of the current over-stored retail environment, the weak economy and the competitive climate.The nation's three largest traditional operators -- Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway -- have all been shifting their store-development plans toward remodels and away from building new stores in 2003 as they seek less risky growth opportunities.

Supermarket companies are rethinking their real estate strategies in light of the current over-stored retail environment, the weak economy and the competitive climate.

The nation's three largest traditional operators -- Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway -- have all been shifting their store-development plans toward remodels and away from building new stores in 2003 as they seek less risky growth opportunities. Those companies that are building new stores have become much more cautious in

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