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• Wal-Mart has acquired the 140 Brazilian stores formerly owned by Portugal’s Modelo Continente, giving Wal-Mart a total of 295 stores in that country. Cost of the acquisition: $763 million (US).

• Andy Bond, CEO of Wal-Mart’s Asda Group in the UK, reportedly has told analysts that 2006 is likely to bring even more aggressive price wars than in recent years.

The threat comes as Asda faces the possibility that it could slip from second to third place behind Tesco and Sainsbury, and tries to recover from a sales slowdown.

"Asda has always been about being the lowest-priced retail brand and I'm going to be more aggressive next year," Bond said. "But I can't predict how the other retailers, and Tesco in particular, will react."
KC's View:
We can.

We’re waiting for someone to launch the inevitable “we’ll pay you to shop with us” promotion.

And suppliers may want to strap themselves in for a bumpy ride. Because when all these retailers look to cut prices, they’re also going to be looking to cut costs.

And you know who they’re going to turn to on that front…