United States
American supermarkets are pulling all bagged spinach from their shelves and urging consumers to stop eating spinach and spinach-containing products following an e-coli outbreak that has claimed one life and left hundreds ill. Consumer groups are now campaigning for tighter regulation including improvements to the quality of water used for irrigation, the application of manure and sanitary facilities used by workers.

Retailer Coles Myer has mounted a heavyweight newspaper ad campaign in reaction to speculation that it could be facing a takeover. The campaign has been designed to highlight its strong financial performance over the past few years. The retailer has also denied it has been in talks with Tesco and Wal-Mart over a sale of parts of its business.

Wal-Mart could be set to enter the Polish retail sector as part of a possible expansion into Eastern Europe, the Polish press has reported. Newspaper Rzeczpospolita said the retailer had shown an interest in entering through an acquisition, naming French supermarket chain Auchan.

Ahold, the world's fourth-largest food retailer, is in talks with Belgian chain Delhaize, which investors believe could lead to a merger. The discussions are part of a comprehensive review of operations by Netherlands-based Ahold, which has been busy taking steps to restore credibility and finances following an accounting scandal in 2003.

United States
Whole Foods Market has completed its largest-ever installation of solar panels at its distribution centre in Cheshire, Connecticut. The 48 rows of solar panels produce 137,500 kilowatt hours annually, supplying 10% of the 15,000 sq m warehouse's energy needs.

Drinks group Pernod Ricard has reported a 32% increase in full-year net profit to E639m (£429m) on sales up 68% to E6.07bn. The results for the year to 30 June were boosted by last year's acquisition of rival Allied Domecq.

Carrefour opened its tenth hypermarket in Malaysia this week, its second in the southernmost state of Johor. The opening is part of the retailer's plan to open two new hypermarkets annually in Malaysia.

Wal-Mart Stores is proposing that trading house Marubeni merge its retail affiliate Daiei with Wal-Mart's local subsidiary Seiyu, reports in the Japanese press suggest. The merger would create Japan's third-largest retail group after AEON and Seven & I. Wal-Mart has also proposed that the Daiei and Seiyu brands should eventually be unified.