The New Year kicked off with intense activity in the retail world this week, both in the UK and abroad. UK retailers began a fresh price war with the announcement of a raft of promotions and price cuts in a bid to cancel out the rise in VAT, while Waitrose unveiled plans to expand its store network. Further afield, French retailer Carrefour opened its first wholesale store in India. Here are the top stories on just-food this week. 

UK: Waitrose to expand store network
UK grocery retailer Waitrose is to open 39 stores this year with the creation of around 3,000 jobs.

UK: Tesco, Morrisons unveil price cut campaigns
UK retailers Tesco and Morrisons have announced price cuts to a raft of grocery products in a bid to cancel out the effects of the rise in VAT, which has come into effect today (4 January).

UK: Takeover Panel issues Boparan with Northern bid deadline
The UK’s Takeover Panel has issued Boparan Holdings with a deadline to bid for Fox’s biscuits and Goodfella’s pizza maker Northern Foods.

INDIA: Kraft rejects Cadbury takeover tax allegations
Kraft Foods has rejected criticism levelled in a lawsuit lodged in India over its its alleged failure to pay tax in the country on its takeover of Cadbury.

INDIA: Carrefour opens first wholesale store 
French retailer Carrefour has opened its first cash-and-carry store in India after months of speculation.

GLOBAL: Food prices hit record high, says UN
Global food prices last month reached the highest since records began, exceeding the 2008 highs that sparked riots across the globe, according to figures from the UN.

US: Financial pressures force Tasty Baking to mull sale
The management of Tasty Baking Co. has admitted it is considering selling the US baker as financial pressures linked to commodity costs and its new bakery hit the company.

CANADA: High Liner Foods bids for seafood firm Icelandic Group
Canada-based seafood group High Liner Foods has made a EUR340m (US$447.6m) takeover bid for Icelandic Group, a seafood supplier to retailers including Tesco and Marks and Spencer.