The UK’s major supermarkets have warned the government that an “urgent intervention” is needed to prevent further disruption to NI food supplies (The BBC). The UK’s largest supermarkets have warned the government of “significant disruption to food supplies” to Northern Ireland because of “unworkable” post-Brexit border arrangements (The Financial Times £). Bosses of the UK’s largest supermarkets have warned “urgent intervention” is needed by the Government to prevent “significant disruption” to Northern Ireland’s food supplies, due to post-Brexit border arrangements (The Telegraph).

The Hut Group cemented its stock market darling status after posting a steep jump in sales over the festive period (The Daily Mail). The Hut Group, the online retailer that floated on the stock market in September, has upgraded its revenue forecasts after sales rose more than 50% in the final months of last year (The Financial Times £). The boss of The Hut Group says that he has no plans to start paying dividends and is focusing on expanding the business amid a boom in online beauty sales (The Times £). The Hut Group, the recently floated online retail company run by billionaire Matthew Moulding, has upgraded its profit forecasts after strong sales at its beauty and sports nutrition brands during the coronavirus pandemic (The Guardian).

Alistair Osborne in The Times writes: “Shouldn’t the rules over free floats, dual-class share structures and even the obligation to publish a prospectus get overhauled so that more tech entrepreneurs like Mr Moulding can float their businesses in London and earn a “premium” listing? … Yet doesn’t The Hut’s success so far equally make the opposite case? The rules didn’t stop The Hut floating. And investors are clearly sophisticated enough to make their own decisions about fast-growing companies with quirky governance. So why water down the rules for them?” (The Times £)

Canadian convenience store group Alimentation Couche-Tard has approached France’s Carrefour about a takeover in a deal that would combine two retail groups jointly worth more than $50bn. (The Financial Times £)

A Compass-owned food provider has been axed as a supplier of lockdown meals to disadvantaged students at one of England’s largest academy chains after damning evidence emerged of children receiving “unacceptable” and “inadequate” food parcels (The Financial Times £). Rashford free school meals row shines light on role of catering firms – since the start of 2016, Compass and its subsidiary Chartwells have won contracts worth almost £350m (The Guardian).

The Independent writes of Compass’s “chequered past”, noting: “Compass, the world’s largest catering company with revenues last year of £20bn, has attracted unwelcome publicity over allegations of substandard food in the US and Europe. It was also implicated in the 2013 horse-meat scandal.” (The Independent)

Tesco, Asda and Waitrose have become the latest supermarkets to say they will deny entry to shoppers who do not wear face masks unless they are medically exempt (The BBC). Britain’s four major supermarket chains have all announced that they will ban shoppers who refuse to wear face coverings (Sky News).

The government will look “very carefully” at prioritising shop workers - as well as teachers and police officers - for COVID vaccines, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told MPs. (Sky News)

Many small shops could become unviable if the Government introduces a three metre social distancing rule in an attempt to stop the rapid spread of coronavirus, business leaders have warned. (The Telegraph)

John Lewis has suspended click-and-collect services at its department stores in the latest tightening of rules for shoppers as the coronavirus crisis intensifies (Sky News). John Lewis is suspending its click and collect services and tightening safety measures after a “change in tone” from the government over the virus (The BBC).

Sales at the supermarket group widely known as the “Waitrose of the north” rose strongly over the festive period. (The Times £)

Morrisons has become the first UK supermarket to break the £10 an hour pay barrier just as the spotlight is being shone on poor pay levels in an industry where workers are in the frontline of the pandemic. (The Guardian)

UK seafood exporters are suffering serious disruption to shipments to the EU for the second week since the end of the Brexit transition period, sending some fish prices plunging and prompting some fishing vessels to stay in port, industry figures said on Tuesday. (The Financial Times £)

More than six million glasses of pink prosecco were enjoyed by Lidl customers over the festive period as strict Covid rules prompted people to indulge. (The BBC)

Topics