NETHERLANDS: Dutch retailer Super de Boer has been sold to supermarket chain Jumbo for 552.5m (£4,939m). The transaction is expected to be finalised in December.

"The position of the combined businesses of Super de Boer and Jumbo in the consolidating Dutch food retail sector, where banner positioning, size and purchasing power are essential to maintain a leading role, will be substantially stronger," said Jan Brouwer, chief executive of Super de Boer.

MALAYSIA: Carrefour plans to double the number of its Malaysian outlets to 40 by 2012, according to local reports. Guillaume de Colonges, CEO in Malaysia, said he would speed up development there in coming years.

"We want to do in three years what we took 15 years to do before," he said. "If we can do more, we will." Carrefour entered Malaysia in 1994, but is smaller than its main competitors including Tesco, which has 30 stores, and Hong Kong's Dairy Farm, which has more than 90 stores.

SWITZERLAND: Nestlé has announced plans to grow its halal business in Europe. The manufacturer, already the biggest halal manufacturer in the world, said it had established a strong presence in the UK, France and Germany and was looking to replicate its success in other EU countries. Nestlé's ethnic business in most European markets is delivered by Nestrade, a global trading company in the Nestlé group.

"We felt a strong demand from retailers who wanted to broaden their ethnic assortment and this is a pillar of growth we want to continue to focus on," said Alexander Klein, manager of branded products channel development at Nestrade.

CANADA: Retailer Loblaw is extending trading at most of its stores to 24 hours next month for Christmas. Senior vice president of corporate affairs Inge van den Berg claimed the move would benefit time-starved customers who wanted to beat the holiday rush and shop at their convenience over the festive period.

"With convenient 24-hour openings, later hours in many of our stores, plus a great selection of fresh and prepared food items for our customers' entertaining needs and gifts for the whole family, we're able to say Happy Holidays, Canada in a way that will truly mean something to our customers," he added.

SOUTH AFRICA: Shoprite and digital services provider My Web Grocer have teamed up with Apple to launch an iPhone and iTouch application. Shoprite Weekly Specials enables shoppers to view the latest promotions and the items available at each store, as well as create a shopping list from hundreds of products.

"This new application not only helps our customers save money, but more importantly it makes their lives a little bit easier," said Shoprite senior vice president of marketing Cheryl Williams. "We want to do everything we can to enhance the customer experience at Shoprite and the iPhone app is a mobile extension of those efforts."