Sainsbury’s is poised to axe 1,500 jobs as it forges ahead with plans to cut £1bn in costs (Telegraph £). A simplifying of operations will lead to roles being cut across the supermarket chain’s bakeries, warehouses and call centres, as well as in HR.

The UK’s second-largest supermarket, which also owns Argos and Habitat, said it would reduce the number of roles in its head office, including retail and HR, at its contact centre in Widnes, Cheshire, in its in-store bakeries and at a few local warehouses (The Times £).

The country’s second-largest supermarket is simplifying operations as it woos shoppers back from discount rivals (Mail).

The redundancies are the first since CEO Simon Roberts unveiled his new strategy for the supermarket earlier this month. Read more in The Grocer.

Losses at Ocado Group have narrowed after an improved performance from its retail venture with Marks & Spencer and automated warehouse technology division (The Times £).

Ocado has threatened legal action against Marks and Spencer as the two retailers clash over a final payment tied to their online joint venture (Financial Times £).

M&S, which owns 50% of Ocado Retail, is withholding part of the £190m final payment after their delivery tie-up failed to hit certain performance targets (The Guardian).

The pair’s £750m joint venture Ocado Retail has failed to meet targets laid out when M&S agreed to set it up in 2019, Ocado said (Telegraph £).

Tim Steiner, the boss of Ocado, said on Thursday he was confident M&S owed the firm ‘a substantial amount of money’ and he hopes to secure a settlement over the dispute (Mail).

A business editorial in the Telegraph (£) says that Ocado has failed to deliver for M&S customers. “It’s a measure of how low the bar is set at Ocado these days that a stonking near-£400m annual loss at the online grocer counts as ‘good progress’ in the eyes of its evangelical founder and chief executive, Tim Steiner,” the paper writes.

Mohsin Issa, one half of the so-called “billionaire brothers” who own Asda, says he plans to hand over the running of the UK’s third biggest supermarket. In his first broadcast interview, the entrepreneur told the BBC he was carrying out a “reset” at the grocer before appointing a chief executive.

Britain’s dependence on ultra-processed food has left it the “sick man of Europe” and black warning labels should be placed on the products, parliament was told on Thursday by Professor Tim Spector, founder of the Zoe nutrition app (The Times £).

British drinkers bought ten million fewer bottles of wine in the run-up to Christmas after the government’s duty increases, leaving a black hole in Treasury finances, the industry has warned (The Times £).

Food industry trade bodies are discussing whether to take legal action against the government over post-Brexit plans that will require all meat and dairy products sold in the UK to be labelled as “not for EU” (The Guardian).

The consumer boycott of Bud Light continued to eat into sales yesterday as Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a 15.3% slump in its US beer volumes in the fourth quarter (The Times £).

The world’s largest brewer said the number of its drinks sold fell 1.7% in 2023 after American shoppers turned their backs on its Bud Light beer (Mail).

Haleon, the consumer goods group behind Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol painkillers, has announced a £500m share buyback alongside better-than-expected fourth-quarter results (The Times £).

The consumer healthcare giant revealed turnover rose by 4.1% to £11.3bn in 2023, compared to 13.8% the previous year (Mail).

The market report in the Mail says shares in Haleon rose after the Sensodyne toothpaste maker unveiled plans to return £500m to investors this year.

The Body Shop is to close 75 stores across the UK in the next six weeks with the loss of 489 jobs, according to administrators who are overseeing the restructuring (The Guardian).

Shops slated for closure include The Body Shop’s site on Regent Street, London, which comes after the administrators axed its flagship store on Oxford Street last week (Telegraph £).

The owner of Clipper Logistics has stepped up a bidding war for Wincanton by offering to buy the business for £762m (The Times £).

The 605p per share offer is around 26% higher than the 480p ‘increased and final’ offer from CEVA Logistics, a subsidiary of French shipping giant CMA CGM, which was backed by the Wincanton board on Monday (Mail).

Marks and Spencer cafes have switched to whole milk as their default option, as full-fat milk experiences a health renaissance (Telegraph £).

The importance of Oprah Winfrey to Weight Watchers was evident in the market reaction to the announcement that she is stepping down from the board, sending shares falling 18% (The Times £).

Almost £60m was wiped off the value of Weight Watchers as Oprah Winfrey prepares to step down from the board and sell her shares (Mail).

The Mexican street food firm Wahaca has been named the greenest restaurant chain in Britain, followed closely by the chicken chain Nando’s (The Times £).