Tesco's hold on Inverness - once dubbed "Tesco-town" because of its dominance there - looks set to be watered down after Sainsbury's announced it would build a store in the town. Asda also plans a store there.
Retail bill payment network Payzone is offering stores threatened with the loss of Post Office facilities a fast-track installation service. Up to 3,000 sub-post offices face the axe in a government shake-up.
Food companies are waiting to see if the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU will generate demand for food from those countries as their residents flock here. Importer RH Amar said: "We are keeping our finger on the pulse."