Wal-Mart, Kroger, Walgreen and other big retailers are cutting the variety of products on their shelves by at least 15% to increase sales and profits by simplifying the choices for budget-conscious shoppers. "All that go-go 1990s where we were adding items in and adding items in, and people wanted more, more, more, more choice ... just didn't pay off," said Catherine Lindner of Walgreen. FMI data shows retailers offered almost 47,000 distinct products by 2008.

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