Wal-Mart blends in to the locality
Bentonville, Arkansas: Wal-Mart will open 70 stores in January - a record number for a single month. It plans to open two Neighbourhood Markets, five Wal-Mart discount stores and 63 Wal-Mart Supercenters. The new stores include a site in Austin, Texas, designed using brick and earth-tone colours to complement wildlife habitats nearby, and a store in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, that has hitching posts at the entrance for the horse and buggies of Amish customers.

Albertsons boosts Supervalu
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Supervalu has reported a 51% increase in third-quarter net profit to $113m (£57.4m) as a result of its acquisition of rival supermarket chain Albertsons in June last year. Third-quarter sales more than doubled from $4.7bn to $10.7bn. It plans to spend $1bn a year on improving its stores, according to chairman and CEO Jeff Noddle. "We are seeing great progress on many fronts," he said. "When including the acquired operations, we also saw improvement in our identical store sales in the quarter and progress in our re-modelling programme."

Woolworths eyes Kiwi Warehouse
Sydney: Australian supermarket chain Woolworths has lodged an application with the New Zealand Commerce Commission to acquire up to 100% of New Zealand discount general merchandise retailer The Warehouse Group. Last year Woolworths acquired a 10% stake in The Warehouse Group. No decision has been made on whether Woolworths will make a proposal to acquire the company, said CEO Michael Luscombe.

Terrestrial ad first for Carrefour
Paris: Carrefour is set to launch its first terrestrial television ad campaign after the French government dropped a ban preventing major retailers from advertising on analogue channels. The campaign focuses on prices and will be backed by a second print-based campaign focusing on six general consumer products that Carrefour promises will be the cheapest in France. Meanwhile, the retailer has announced plans to open a further 20 stores in China this year. In 2006 it opened 22 stores there, taking its total number of stores in the country to 92.

Diageo creates Asia Pacific arm
London: Drinks group Diageo has created a specific region for Asia Pacific. From 1 February, Diageo Asia Pacific will bring together Diageo's operations in Asia, Greater China and Australia, led by John Pollaers, president of Asia Pacific. Diageo CEO Paul Walsh said: "This re-configured organisation enables us to leverage the potential of our competitive position in all markets of Asia Pacific but also to build on our strong performance in Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and Global Travel and Middle East hubs."

Caprabo sells 65 stores
Madrid: Spanish supermarket chain Caprabo has announced plans to sell all of its stores in the Comunidad Valenciana, Andalusia and Murcia regions. In total, 65 stores have been put up for sale as part of its plan to sell stores located in non-strategic regions.