Discount chain Aldi has committed to offering customers the “lowest grocery prices” this year, setting the stage for a renewed supermarket price war as customers grapple with surging living costs (The Financial Times £).
Chief executive Giles Hurley said budgeting would be the ‘top priority’ for most families as the country faces a cost of living crisis (The Mail).
The German discounter’s pledge comes amid warnings of soaring energy bills and planned tax increases, as well as a 3.5pc jump in grocery prices in December (The Telegraph).
More than half a million new shoppers turned to Aldi for their Christmas food shopping, resulting in the discount grocer recording its best festive sales (The Times £).
Sales at the UK’s fifth-largest supermarket chain were up 0.4% in December 2021 compared with the equivalent month in 2020, despite a boost that year from people ordering more groceries amid a lockdown that forced restaurants and cafes to close (The Guardian).
A business editorial in The Telegraph takes a look at what the latest results mean for the sector. “As surging inflation keeps squeezing household budgets, the supermarket landscape is becoming more fiercely competitive than ever.”
High street retailers and supermarkets enjoyed some festive cheer after months of Covid disruptions as sales in the run-up to Christmas beat pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor (The Times £).
Britain’s retailers have said the soaring cost of living risks dragging down high street sales in 2022 after a bumper Christmas trading period and year of recovery in consumer spending (The Guardian).
The cut-price chain Wilko is to close up to 15 stores over the coming year with the potential loss of more than 300 jobs (The Guardian). The company, which currently operates 414 outlets, said it was reviewing leases that were coming to an end and would exit stores where favourable terms could not be agreed.
The Guardian shines a spotlight on Matthew Moulding in a piece headline “the curious case of THG founder’s property deals”.
The market report in The Times (£) explores the continued misfortune of THG. “After its shares tumbled by more than 15% last week, THG must have been hoping that a new week would mean a new start for its battered stock. No such luck. Despite Liberum advising its clients that the embattled ecommerce businesss was a ‘buy’, investors were set on selling, driving down the share price a further 15p, or 7.7%, to 179.5p.”
The health of many young women is being compromised by a lack of key nutrients in their diet because they consume little or no red meat and dairy products, a senior scientist has warned (The Times £).
Eating more than half a tablespoon of olive oil daily is linked to a lower risk of dying from illnesses including heart disease and cancer, a study has found (The Times £).
The Lex column in The Financial Times (£) takes a look at the growth of Starbucks and says rivals have little hope of replicating its global footprint, with 2,000 new outlets to be opened this year.