DAS HOURS: The German parliament approved an amendment, effective June 1, allowing stores to stay open until 8 p.m. Saturdays, as opposed to 6 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month, and 4 p.m. otherwise. Weekday closing time remains 8 p.m., except for stores in railway stations and special tourist zones. Sunday openings remain largely taboo, though local authorities may designate a maximum of four Sundays each year as "Shop Open Sundays," in which stores can now stay open until 8 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. on those Sundays.

WALMEX IN CLEAR: Mexico’s antitrust agency closed its investigation into the purchasing practices of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s south-of-the-border division Walmex, under the condition that the retailer follow a code of conduct when dealing with suppliers, said published reports. In related Wal-Mart news, the stores is in talks to acquire a significant stake in the supermarket chain Safeway PLC ahead of a ruling by the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry.

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