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  • Ahold Posts Sales Gains For 2002. Ahold announced this morning 2002 sales of $75.7 billion (US), up 9.2 percent from a year ago. Ahold's US Foodservice division posted a 43.5 percent increase in sales, while its US retail operations were up 13.2 percent; same-store sales were up 4.8 percent.

    "Sales slowed in the course of the year as a consequence of further deteriorating economic circumstances. However, we are encouraged by the fact that we strengthened our position in most markets," Ahold President and CEO Cees van der Hoeven said.

  • Aldi plans to enter Oklahoma City market. Local press reports say that Aldi, the limited-assortment-grocery chain, plans to open four stores in Oklahoma City by the end of the year, putting it into direct competition with Wal-Mart supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, as well as Albertsons.

    Aldi currently operates 578 stores in 21 states, stretching from Kansas to the east coast.

  • Auchan To Pull Out Of US. Auchan, the French retailer that came to the US with high hopes but ended up only operating two Texas stores that weren’t making it any money, has decided to sell the stores. The company hopes to complete the sale by the end of March.

    The move is part of an overall decision by Auchan to get out of the Americas; it also recently announced it would sell its five units in Mexico and concentrate its efforts on European and Asian markets.

  • German government plans to relax sale regulations. reports that the German government plans to allow retailers to hold sales at any time of the year. Existing laws say that discounts are only permitted during specific summer and winter periods, and only on specific items -- except when companies celebrate anniversaries every 25 years.

KC's View:
This last piece of news should be welcomed by Wal-Mart, which has struggled in Germany like it has struggled nowhere else.