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  Haniel Denies talk of Buying Metro shares Jumbo 2006. G erman conglomerate Haniel has denied that it was buying shares in Metro. “Haniel is not buying any Metro shares from the market,” said spokeswoman Jutta Stoll. Click here for more  
Carrefour France sells 97 supermarket buildings

Carrefour has announced that it has sold 97 supermarket properties held by its real-estate branch Carrefour Property to an investment company controlled by French banking group Crédit Mutuel for EUR365 million (USD504 million). Carrefour will continue to operate the stores through 12-year leases under its Carrefour Market banner. In its press release Carrefour said that the sale and lease-back of "mature" real-estate assets would allow it optimise the use of its capital, which would be reinvested into other real-estate developments. Carrefour added that it has multiple renewal options for the 97 supermarkets it has sold to La Française AM, an investment fund majority-owned by Crédit Mutuel Nord.

Auchan Hungary buys LOUIS DELHAIZE's hypermarket operation

Auchan and Louis Delhaize have reached an agreement under which Belgian retailer Louis Delhaize will sell its seven Cora hypermarkets in Hungary to France's Auchan, if the deal is approved by the competition authority GVH. The transaction, which is expected to close during the first quarter, does not involve the supermarkets and discount stores operated by Louis Delhaize in Hungary.
Louis Delhaize currently operates three stores in and around Budapest (Budakalász, Fót, Törökbálink) and four further stores in other areas of the country (Szolnok, Miskolc, Szeged, Debrecen). With the acquisition of these seven Hungarian hypermarkets, Auchan will now operate 19 hypermarkets in the country. Sales of Auchan in Hungary amounted to HUF224 billion (USD1,080 million) in 2010.

Familymart plans to move into profit in China by 2015

Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart said it expected to make a turnaround in China in 2015. The company is planning to expand its network of stores to around 4,500 by 2015. FamilyMart, which incurred a loss attributed to earlier investments in store openings in China, will try to turn profitable in the country by 2015. In addition, the company is also looking at expanding its operations in Indonesia and Philippines to offset the sluggish growth in its domestic market.

Albert Heijn considers building an online marketplace

Grocery retailer Ahold's Dutch Albert Heijn operation intends to create an online marketplace. It plans to add non-food items like books, clothes and home entertainment products to its online grocery assortment in order to follow its six pillars strategy presented last autumn. Jochem van de Laarschot, Spokesman for Ahold, said acquisitions can be a tool to reach this aim. "However, we might put it up ourselves or co-operate with other parties," he added. Recently, speculation arose that online non-food retailer Wehkamp would be a perfect match for Ahold and a potential target for an acquisition.
Reportedly, Ahold also intends to add new product categories to its US online assortment.

Japanese convenience store operators plan for expansion

Japanese convenience store operators plan to open 3,400-plus outlets in the country during fiscal 2012. Seven-Eleven Japan plans to open 1,350 sites, surpassing this fiscal year's 1,200. Furthermore, Seven & I Holdings will focus on the earthquake-ravaged northeast, with store openings there to increase more than 20% on the year. FamilyMart plans to boost its store development staff nationwide by about 100 employees to 250. In addition, LAWSON, Circle K Sunkus and Ministop will likely open a total of 3,460 to 3,610 locations.

Jumbo Supermarkten rapid FY growth at Jumbo

Dutch grocery retailer Jumbo Supermarkten has reported that corporate gross sales reached EUR3.23 billion (USD4.46 billion) in 2011. Turnover of its Jumbo bannered stores increased 40% to EUR2.45 billion (USD3.38 billion) in comparison to the last year. The retailer explains this enormous growth with the expansion of its network from 174 to 263 stores and a sharp rise of sales in the new outlets. Regarding its Super de Boer stores, sales amounted to EUR782 million (USD1.08 billion) while their number shrank - mainly due to their rebannering to the Jumbo banner - from 190 to 36. The retailer plans to finish the conversion in March 2012 and open its 300th Jumbo store shortly after that.
"2011 was an absolute highlight in the 15 years our company has existed," CEO Frits van Eerd said. Jumbo Supermarkten announced in November 2011 it is to take over supermarket chain C1000. According to the retailer, the network will comprise more than 700 outlets and post sales of around EUR7.5 billion (USD10.35 billion) following this step.

Mercadona to enter Navarre

Spanish grocer Mercadona has announced plans to expand into Navarre region in northern Spain. The retailer will invest EUR40 million (USD55 million) in the region with the opening of 20 supermarkets over the next five years, with the first opening expected in 2013. These outlets will be supplied from the retailer's distribution centre located in Pla-Za, Saragossa province. Navarre and the Basque Country are the only two Spanish regions where Mercadona has no presence as yet.
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