Tom Grimm, retiring ceo at Sam's, has been replaced by Kevin Turner, 37, who joined the firm in 1986 as an "hourly associate" and worked his way through the ranks, becoming chief information officer in 2000.
In the quarter to July 31, operating profit at Sam's grew 3%, against a 17% rise at Wal-Mart stores. Like-for-like sales growth rose 3.4%, compared with a 7.1% rise at Wal-Mart stores.
Ahold targets Chile
n Ahold is to take control of Chilean supermarket group Santa Isabel, in which it holds a 69.7% stake, by offering about $50m for those shares it does not already own.
As a result, the Dutch retail giant will control 350 stores, with 2001 sales of E771m in Chile, Peru, Paraguay and Argentina.
In Poland, Ahold's wholly owned subsidiary Ahold Polska said it has reached agreement to buy five hypermarkets from Jeronimo Martins for about E20m.
n French retail group Auchan has opened the first hypermarket in Russia.
The 172,000 sq ft store, in Moscow, will stock up to 40,000 food and non-food goods of which 97% will be supplied by Russian producers. It plans to open a second store in Russia in December.
Woolworth leapn Australian retail giant Woolworth's annual sales jumped 17% and the company expects to keep growing. Sales for the 2001-2002 financial year rose to A$24.5bn (Â£8.7bn) from A$21bn the previous year.
Woolworth said it expected to add 15 to 25 supermarkets each year for the foreseeable future.
Nestlé ³tays quietn Nestlé ©s refusing to respond to reports it made a preliminary bid of $11.5bn for US chocolate giant Hershey Foods, saying it did "not comment on market fantasy". The Swiss company is reported to be bidding $82 a share, putting it in pole position to buy the 108-year-old US firm, which controls more than 30% of the US confectionery market. Others thought to be interested include Cadbury Schweppes and Kraft Foods.