US: Workers at Stop & Shop are preparing to vote on strike action in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The United Food & Commercial Workers Union claims the retailer wants to reduce pension and health insurance contributions, and give staff annual bonuses instead of wage increases. "This is all about taking advantage of the economic times," the union said.

Stop & Shop, which is owned by Dutch group Ahold, has infuriated union members by advertising over the past few days for temporary workers in the event of a strike, in stores across New England. "We are focused on our negotiations and will work hard to bring them to a positive conclusion," said a spokesman.

AUSTRALIA: A Woolworths in Darwin was bombed this week by a man who wheeled a shopping trolley containing explosives through the front door. The man gave himself up to police shortly after the attack, which injured 15 people. It is believed to have been an attempt to blow up an insurance business next door. The supermarket was not badly damaged and reopened several hours later. Woolworths said staff quickly helped evacuate customers from the centre and three staff members were treated by doctors.

US: Costco has appointed a chief operating officer, and created a new 'office of the president' in a sign the wholesaler is starting succession planning for its chief executive. Craig Jelinek, executive vice president in charge of merchandising, was promoted to chief operating officer.

The new 'office of the president' will include chief executive Jim Sinegal, chairman Jeff Brotman, senior executive vice president Dick DiCerchio and Jelinek. The four executives will "coordinate on major company matters," the retailer said. Analysts said the changes show Costco is planning for the eventual retirement of Sinegal, who turned 74 on 1 January.

GERMANY: Metro, Edeka Group and Rewe Group were among the 11 German retailers raided by the Federal Cartel Office and police in a price-fixing probe. The authority is investigating whether retailers co-operated with each other to set the price of products, including sweets, coffee and petfood. The Federal Cartel Office searched the premises of 15 companies, 11 of which are retailers.

BELGIUM: Colruyt has signed a deal to buy Foodinvest, the wholesale and foodservice group. The acquisition is part of the conglomorate's strategy to expand its presence in foodservice. Colruyt's interests include supermarkets, marketing, distribution and foodservice. This week, Colruyt released figures showing full-year sales up 7.5% to 5.1bn (£4.5bn), with the group's wholesale and foodservice division performing particularly well.

"Our retail activities showed a positive evolution as a result of the group's consistent lowest price strategy," said Colruyt.