When activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed on Jun. 6 that he had acquired a 9.4 stake in struggling discount chain Family Dollar, retail industry insiders may have gotten a feeling of Déjàvu. Icahn has indicated that he’d like to have what he calls “a friendly dialogue” with the company’s management about its operations, hinting at desire for a turnaround and noting it might make sense to explore a merger with rival Dollar General. But it wasn’t ...

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