Ocado has become the first large grocer to warn of stock shortages as it is hit by staff absences linked to Covid-19 while hauliers grapple with extra customs controls after Brexit (The Times £). Online supermarket Ocado has become the first big retailer to warn of shortages of some products (The BBC). The cost of added paperwork traders must go through following Brexit will be “passed on to the consumer”, a senior retail chief has warned (The Independent).

Businesses are being told to prepare for “significant additional disruption”, after reports of lorries being delayed and refused entry at ports following Brexit (Sky News).

Brexit border chaos leaves gaps on Northern Ireland shelves – as a result of new red tape on goods being shipped from Britain to Northern Ireland, some food producers have stopped sending produce to the province (The Times £)

Ministers must restart trade negotiations with Brussels immediately to sort out the “baffling” array of post-Brexit rules and regulations that now threaten much of the UK’s export trade to the EU, leading business groups have said (The Guardian). A growing number of retailers and courier firms are suspending or cutting back deliveries into the EU as companies grapple with new border controls as well as import taxes (The Guardian).

Marks & Spencer has temporarily stopped selling hundreds of items in its Northern Ireland stores due to Brexit red tape (The BBC). The supply of Percy Pigs is under threat in Irish stores after Marks & Spencer sounded the alarm on new import taxes following the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU (The Telegraph). Percy Pig has emerged as one of the first casualties of Brexit red tape, with Marks & Spencer warning that its famous pink sweets could be hit with new import taxes in Ireland (The Guardian).

Marks and Spencer reported a sharp fall in third-quarter sales as earlier store closures hit and warned it was planning for the latest national lockdown to last “potentially until Easter” (The Financial Times £). Marks & Spencer said its clothing sales dropped by a quarter over the key Christmas trading period as the retailer was hit hard by store closures on the back of the Covid-19 lockdown (The Guardian). Marks & Spencer has reported a big fall in clothing and homeware sales during the Christmas quarter, due to coronavirus and retail restrictions caused by the pandemic (Sky News).

The Mail’s Alex Brummer writes: “Amid the changing weather, there are no signs of faith in M&S’s widely-held shares picking up yet, with the grand dame’s market value at £2.7bn, just one-seventh of UK partner Ocado at £18billion-plus. There is an arduous K2- style climb ahead.” (The Daily Mail)

This January look for the old-fashioned metric of total sales and pre-tax profits to judge the performance of Britain’s leading retailers, not like-for-likes, writes Graham Ruddick in The Times (£).

Scottish seafood industry groups on Friday demanded urgent assistance from the UK government after complaining of serious disruption to EU shipments over the past week that raised fears about the survival of some exporters. (The Financial Times £)

Retailers face a financial “bloodbath” as accountants strained by the pressure of tough audits and lockdown restrictions prepare for talks with regulators over giving companies more time to file their accounts. (The Telegraph)

UK supermarket staff say they have become the ‘forgotten key workers’. Employees face exhaustion, stress and abuse by members of the public in second coronavirus lockdown. (The Guardian)

A commission advising the UK government on post-Brexit trade will push for a tough approach to standards of imported food, its chairman told the Financial Times.

Luke Johnson in The Sunday Times writes: “Britain has been a net importer of food for a long time. Brexit may trigger a reappraisal of our export and production potential. In segments such as whisky, salmon, chocolate and gin we do well — but compared with the Netherlands we are mediocre.” (The Times £)

Lockdown measures and the advent of mass working from home have also stoked demand for pets, prompting FTSE 250 chain Pets at Home to increase its full-year earnings guidance (The Financial Times £). A “baby boom” in animal ownership has led Pets at Home to announce its third profit upgrade in five months after Christmas sales were stronger than expected (The Times £). Pets at Home expects to see larger than anticipated annual profits after recording a significant rise in like-for-like sales over the festive period (The Daily Mail).

A lockdown-induced rush to the grocery aisles as families stock up on treats and ingredients, will cap a strong year for Premier Foods, a company that once seemed to be edging its way towards the corporate compost bin. (The Times £)

The private equity owner of TGI Fridays in Britain plans to put the bar and restaurant chain up for sale this year as it winds down its portfolio after succumbing to an attack by a corporate raider. (The Times £)

Marston’s, the pubs operator, has called on the government for more relief as its pubs are set to be closed until at least the end of March (The Times £). The boss of brewer and pubs group Marston’s has called for an extension of the business rates holiday and a VAT cut to help the sector stay afloat (The Daily Mail).

Poundland has put 44 shops into hibernation following a slump in footfall in shopping centres and high streets due to the new lockdown. (The Telegraph)

Taiwanese consumers are turning away from imported pork, driving up prices and frustrating meat producers’ hopes that the liberalisation of the country’s pork market would offer new opportunities for US suppliers. (The Financial Times £)