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Some Reasons For Optimism Among U.K. Supermarket Chains

January 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
British supermarket chains hoped Christmas sales would dispel the gloom of 2014. Unfortunately, there was no overall upward trend. Some, like Waitrose, saw improvements over the same period a year ago. Some, like Sainsbury’s, saw declines. All of the chains had to deal with stiff competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl, as well as dropping food prices. But there is reason for optimism. The economic environment is steadily improving: fuel prices are dropping and real wages are rising. A strong Internet presence and online shopping advances are bearing fruit for companies. And chains like Tesco are benefiting from decentralizing store management, giving managers a greater say in adjusting inventory to meet the needs of local shoppers.
"Supermarkets: Learning to be different", The Economist, January 10, 2015, © The Economist Newspaper Limited
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