Supermarkets Seen Facing ‘Price War’

Supermarket stocks plunged along with the rest of the market yesterday after an analyst issued a report downgrading Kroger and Safeway and speculating that a difficult price war among food retailers was likely to damage profitability this year.

NEW YORK — Supermarket stocks plunged along with the rest of the market yesterday after an analyst issued a report downgrading Kroger and Safeway and speculating that a difficult price war among food retailers was likely to damage profitability this year.

Deborah Weinswig of Citigroup Global Markets here said aggressive pricing by regional operators, and a possible new price initiative by Wal-Mart Stores — fueled by expanded private-label offerings — could force a “modern day p

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