Drought holds back Thailand's retail store expansion
Sales have fallen at all but one of Thailand's major supermarket retailers as the worst drought in a decade strikes at the heart of the farming sector and frustrates plans to open more stores in the provinces. Big C Supercenter, suffered a 5.2% slide in third-quarter same-store sales growth (SSSG) from a year earlier, the most among its peers. It has reduced its pace of expansion like many other cautious retailer. CP All was also the only retailer with any growth in sales. The company plans to open at least 600 stores a year to increase the total number of stores to 10,000 by 2018. (Reuters)

Sweden: Volvo parks up with online grocer

Volvo has launched its In-car Delivery service, which allows users to order shopping online and have it delivered to their car while they are elsewhere. To begin, the firm has partnered with online grocery retailer Mat.se, communications and logistics supplier PostNord and online toy and baby goods store Lekmer.com. (gizmag.com)

Lidl debuts in Serbia
In an interview for German financial daily Handelsblatt, the CEO of Lidl, Sven Siedel, announced that the company plans to create its first stores in Serbia during 2016. (esmmagazine.com)

Anti-Walmart union group plans Black Friday protests across US
A union-backed activist group said it is planning a series of protests at Walmart stores across the nation on the day after Thanksgiving, hoping to disrupt the retail giant during Black Friday, the unofficial kickoff of the Christmas shopping season. This year the group said it was organizing "food drives" on behalf of Walmart employees. (washingtonexaminer.com)

SPAR Indonesia targeting 55 stores by 2018
SPAR Indonesia, which began operating in March 2015 with the opening of three stores, has announced short and medium term expansion plans. By the end of 2015 PT Ramayana Lestari Sentosa, which is the master franchisee for SPAR in Indonesia, is expecting to operate 15 stores, while by the end of 2018 it is aiming to have 55. (igd.com)

Indonesia: Matahari 2016 growth plans
The retailer aims to open 25 new stores during 2016, including nine Hypermart hypermarkets, four Foodmart supermarkets and 12 Boston health and beauty stores. The retailer is also due to expand its new wholesaling business. The majority of the new store openings will happen in the east of the country. (igd.com)

Walmart investigated for Brazil practices: Report
A US probe has found evidence of possible misconduct by Walmart in Brazil, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing documents and sources. Prosecutors have focused on $500,000 believed to have gone to an individual hired to secure government permits to construct two stores in Brazil's capital, Brasilia, between 2009 and 2012, according to the report. Investigators are assessing whether Walmart employees knew about or approved of the suspected payments. (cnbc.com)

Lidl plans to invest €40m in Croatia in 2016
German retailer Lidl is planning to invest €40m in its Croatian unit during 2016, compared to the €35m invested this year. Speaking at a press conference, the CEO of Lidl Hrvatska, Boris Lukšić, said that this year will be better than last year. He said that turnover has been rising every year. The retailer plans to continue opening new stores in Croatia, bringing the total to 88 this month. However, Lidl does not expect to surpass the 100 store mark in 2016. (esmmagazine.com)

SPAR aiming for 21 stores in Oman by end of 2018
SPAR’s CEO, has announced that the brand is set to expand strongly in Oman, firstly in Muscat in the MBD, Darsait, Ruwi, Hamriya and Al Hail areas, as it looks to grow its presence to 21 stores by the end of 2018. (igd.com)

Africa: Tuskys sets out plans
Tuskys said it had completed its due diligence on Ethiopia and was looking to enter that as its next market ‘soon’, before moving on to the opportunities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. Operationally the company was also investigating opportunities in opening smaller, convenience stores as part of a partnership with Vivo Energy, which could see the opening of 75 new stores in Kenya over the next two years. (igd.com)

US: Costco Wholesale stock closes down after E. Coli outbreak
Costco Wholesale Corp shares dropped by 0.77% to $162.19 on heavy trading volume on Tuesday, after CDC health officials said that the company's chicken salad was likely the source of the E. coli outbreak that affected 19 people. (thestreet.com)

CA: Couche-Tard Q2 profit up from year ago
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. increased its quarterly dividend as it reported a higher Q2 profit. The increase came as it said it earned $415.7m the latest quarter, up from $286.2m a year ago. Revenue slipped to $8.44bn, down from $8.95bn. (ctvnews.ca)

US: Publix pays $72m for retail centers in Wellington
Already Florida’s dominant grocer, Publix Supermarkets is making a bid to become a major landlord. The Lakeland-based retailer late last week spent $71.5m on Publix-anchored shopping centers in Wellington and Jupiter, according to property records. (mypalmbeachpost.com)

UK: Tesco drivers threaten strike action after pay freeze

Britain's biggest supermarket has frozen pay for drivers and warehouse staff in Belfast and Doncaster for this year. It is now facing more misery after 700 drivers and warehouse staff threatened to strike for the first time in the run-up to the Christmas period. (telegraph.co.uk)