PROFILE OF THE WEEK

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Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores impressed Wall Street last week with strong sales growth rates despite its size and comparatively meager ad spending. With same-store sales up 9.5% in September vs. a year ago, Wal-Mart's performance also lifted stocks of other retailers. But investors may have seen nothing yet. One key element of Wal-Mart's current sales success is the food category, which is likely to be a key component in a new chain of smaller stores that are designed to penetrate urban markets.
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