After a 141-day strike and an estimated $1.5 billion in lost business, Jeffrey Woldt writes the three California grocery chains believe they made significant gains from the new labor contract signed last month. But Woldt writes that while the chains were embroiled in the strike, their competitors, along with drugstore chains and warehouse clubs, were promoting their grocery selection, and California's first Wal-Mart Supercenter opened, all of which could lead to long-term losses. "Almost five months of inertia is too high a price to pay in a market that is as dynamic and fiercely competitive as Southern California."

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