Pick ’n Pay, South Africa:
African supermarket chain Pick ’n Pay has opened its first convenience store in Johannesburg, South Africa, as the business moves into small format stores for the first time. The retailer has stores in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. 

"We are very excited about our new Pick ’n Pay Daily format,” said CEO Nick Badminton. “The convenience store format in South Africa is growing by approximately 14% annually, making it the fastest growth segment in the market, and we are poised to take advantage of that,” he added.

Stores will be between 7,000 sq ft and 10,000 sq ft and will carry about 6,500 product lines. As with its supermarket chain, Pick ’n Pay will franchise the convenience stores. The company said it expected a rapid rollout of the new format over the next three to five years.

Safeway, US:
Safeway this week reported third-quarter like-for-like sales up just 0.5% year on year, excluding fuel. Total sales were up 3.9% to $10.2bn (£5.8bn) – an increase largely driven by higher fuel sales and the company’s Lifestyle stores.

“During the third quarter we took action to provide our customers with better everyday values,” said Steve Burd, chairman, president and CEO. “As we begin the fourth quarter, our sales momentum is building, with identical-store sales excluding fuel currently above 1.5%, and we are continuing to reduce costs.”

Le Shop, Switzerland:
Senior executives from online retailer Amazon, which specialises in books and CDs, have spent several days meeting Swiss grocery retailer Le Shop, sparking speculation Amazon may be planning a major move into food in the US. Swiss reports claim Le Shop CEO Christian Wanner said the retailers had “swapped knowhow” when Amazon visited its Swiss HQ recently. Wanner also met Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, on an earlier visit to the US. Asked if the two were on the brink of a tie-up, Wanner did not deny it.

“It’s more an exchange on an industrial level, discussing issues and providing tips and tricks to each other,” Wanner said, according to reports.