Merchandising: The Supermarket's Big Change

The supermarket is more than a store.

It is the elegant agora of the new suburbia, the font of everything from Kix to Cheer, and the source of no small amount of corn — including the gag about the housewife whose shopping cart does $40 an hour. The American housewife thinks nothing of spending an average $1,200 a year in the super market. Altogether, U.S. food stores do a $60 billion-a-year business, as much as the steel and auto industries wrapped together.

Supermarket business is still expanding, but it is not as super as...

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