Safeway expands and refurbs
Pleasanton, California: Grocery chain Safeway is to spend $1.7bn on 25 new stores and the refurbishment of 275 existing stores in the next year. It has already refurbished 40% of its stores in its new Lifestyle format and expects 94% of its stores to follow suit by 2009. "We have made substantial improvements in our supermarket business since establishing our strategy to differentiate our offering in 2003," said Steve Burd, CEO. "And we have achieved significant improvements in our perishables."

Champion driven by Carrefour
Paris: Carrefour is set to accelerate the expansion of its supermarket chain Champion. It will add 861,000-967,000 sq ft of store space next year by opening new stores, expanding existing stores and adding to its franchise network. This year it added 732,000 sq ft of space. "Results look to be stable through the end of the year, with slight growth," said Thierry Garnier, director general of Champion. "There is still a lot of pressure on pricing, with 4.5% inflation on suppliers' rates this year."

7-Eleven buys McKee Oil Co c-stores
Dallas, Texas: C-store operator 7-Eleven has acquired 10 McKee Oil Company c-stores in the Salt Lake City area for an undisclosed sum. The deal brings the number of c-stores 7-Eleven operates in northern Utah to 112 stores and is part of a strategic growth plan to expand in areas where the company currently operates.

Best international practice at Spar
Milan: Spar International has opened a 6,500 sq ft Spar Express store at Milan's Garibaldi station. The store, one of the company's largest in this format, includes a Treehouse Smoothie Bar, a sandwich corner, food to go, chilled food and fresh fruit and veg. "Spar Express at Garibaldi is another example of best international practice," said Gordon Campbell, MD of Spar International.

Resnick on three years' probation
New York: Michael Resnick, the former chief financial officer of Dutch retailer Ahold's US Foodservice business, has been given three years' probation for his role in an accounting fraud. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy following an investigation into the division's accounts. Last month Ahold put the business up for sale as part of a strategic review.

Diageo stake in Chinese spirits
Shanghai: Diageo has acquired a 43% stake in Sichuan Quanxing Group as part of a joint venture that will allow it to distribute Chinese spirits internationally. The companies will use the venture as a base to develop cheaper sourcing of packaging and other materials in China as well as developing international sales of the Chinese white spirit Swellfun.

Campaigners gun for junk food ads
Washington DC: US health campaigners have demanded Congress adopt a WHO technical committee report that calls for broad restrictions on junk food marketing to children.