Business: Bread & Circuses

To judge by the contraptions on view and the high-flown talk of motivation, it might have been a meeting of circus showmen or of sociologists. Instead, it was the annual meeting of the Super Market Institute, gathered in Atlantic City last week to demonstrate that today's supermarket operators must be both showmen and sociologists to sell their goods. As choosy as shopping housewives, and twice as voluble, the 13,000 delegates wended their way through aisles crowded with 530 displays, talked about changes in the U.S. supermarket.

So fond is the shopper of gathering gossip along with the groceries that supermarket lounges are...

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