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  • Penn Traffic plans to ask the bankruptcy court for more time to file its reorganization plan, which was supposed to be completed by the end of this month. The company is requesting an extension to April 29, with approval b y creditors then needed by June 29.

  • The city of Turlock, California. Southeast of San Francisco, has passed legislation banning Wal-Mart from opening one of its supercenters there.

  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that wholesale consumer food prices were up 4.2 percent last year as compared to 2002. It was the largest such increase since 1990, and reportedly was fueled by higher prices for beef, eggs and rice.

  • Published reports say that a coalition created by three of Mexico's biggest retailers - Gigante, Soriana and Comerci - is being investigated by that country's competition authorities for possible antitrust violations.

    The coalition was established to help the three retailers compete more effectively with Wal-Mart de Mexico (Walmex).

  • Wal-Mart reportedly has resumed negotiations with Ahold to acquire the Dutch retailer's Brazilian assets.

  • KB Toys Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying that price wars and soft Christmas sales forced its hand. It plans to close as many as 500 of its 1,231 stores.

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