A senior Tesco executive reportedly told City analysts that retailers are making better profit margins on fuel sales after Asda’s takeover by the Issa brothers (The Times £). Britain’s biggest supermarket group recently held a meeting with Berenberg, which then told its clients that Tesco’s head of investor relations “did note that price competition in fuel pricing has reduced, Asda used to be price leader in fuel and it feels that the new approach has provided the whole industry [with] a tailwind”.

A separate story in The Times (£) says the forecourt wars that once kept pump prices low seem to have gone missing in action. The Competition and Markets Authority was warned this could happen. Petrol and diesel prices have soared since the CMA gave the EG takeover of Asda the all-clear.

The supply chain crisis must be fixed urgently if the government is to ensure food security in the UK, a coalition of industry groups has warned (The Guardian).

Food industry representatives have warned that the UK is facing a “worsening food supply chain crisis” without sufficient help from the government (BBC News).

Nearly a third of British companies that import goods from the EU are “not at all prepared” for full post-Brexit customs checks, according to a survey of business leaders, sparking fears of increased congestion at ports and worsening supply chain disruption (The Guardian).

The UK could take a hit to GDP of almost 6% if retail and consumer businesses are forced to close again, a top economist has warned (The Telegraph).

Pubs and restaurants predict that Christmas cancellations made following the introduction of measures to limit the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in England will cut their festive takings by 40% (The Guardian).

UK pub group JD Wetherspoon has hit out at the government’s latest coronavirus restrictions, warning that profits will suffer in “a lockdown by stealth” (The Financial Times £).

The boss of JD Wetherspoon claimed today that Britain was heading towards “lockdown by stealth” following the restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the Omicron variant (The Times £).

In an update to the stock market, JD Wetherspoon told investors that “uncertainty, and the introduction of radical changes of direction by the government, make predictions for sales and profits hazardous” (The Guardian).

Amazon is to start selling low-cost Covid PCR test kits to travellers in a move that promises to shake up a market that has been described as a “rip-off jungle” for consumers (The Guardian).

Self-styled ethical chocolate firm Tony’s Chocolonely has apologised for deliberately leaving one of its advent calendar windows empty to highlight inequality in the industry (BBC News).

Online grocer Ocado has won the first round in a patent-infringement case filed in the US by rival AutoStore (The Telegraph).

An American federal agency has found that Ocado did not violate the patents of a Norwegian robot maker (The Times £).

Ministers have signed off on a compensation scheme for postmasters who were wrongfully convicted of theft and fraud in one of Britain’s biggest miscarriages of justice (Sky News).

Love Hemp said sales in the year to June 30 almost doubled from £2.7m to £4.3m as the cannabis product becomes mainstream (The Mail). 

Royal Mail has said it is facing high levels of sickness that mean almost double the number of employees are absent than in 2018, before Covid-19 was identified (The Guardian).