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Retail industry bosses have warned of a spiralling crisis on shop floors after violence and abuse of workers surged by 50% (Telegraph £). UK shop workers are facing 1,300 incidents of violence and abuse a day and a battle to control “brazen” acts of shoplifting, as pressure mounts on ministers to intervene to protect retail employees (The Guardian). Violence and abuse against shop workers rose to 1,300 incidents a day last year, according to a leading trade body (BBC). 

The government is being urged to take tougher action against attacks on retail workers amid soaring levels of violence and abuse towards shop staff (The Times £).

Shoplifting has hit a record high with 16.7 million incidents recorded last year - more than double compared with 2022 (Sky News).

The British division of The Body Shop has formally fallen into administration, putting 200 stores and thousands of jobs at risk (The Times £). Landlords are bracing for a wave of closures after The Body Shop collapsed into administration, putting more than 2,000 jobs at risk (Telegraph £). The Body Shop has collapsed into administration in the UK less than three months after it was taken over by a private equity company, in a move that puts more than 2,200 jobs at risk at the cosmetics chain (The Guardian).

Administrators are considering “all options” for the UK business and will let employees know of their fate “in due course” as trading is due to continue through the process (Sky News). The retailer’s shops will remain open as usual while efforts are made to try to save the UK firm (BBC).

Sky News takes a look at The Body Shop’s history for clues to where the rot started to set in for the UK business. “You could certainly argue that Dame Anita Roddick was the beating heart of The Body Shop and that her loss meant that the brand was no longer the fierce champion for the many causes that attracted customers in the first place. Financial analysts say that its failure to attract new customers in a crowded market was key.” (Sky News)

The Mail’s Maggie Pagano writes: “Unfortunately, nostalgia doesn’t translate into sales or profits. To be honest, the news of The Body Shop’s collapse came as no surprise. In fact, it was more surprising to know that it was still alive. Over the last few years, it has been overtaken on the High Street by more exciting rivals like Rituals and The Ordinary company, or more upmarket by Jo Malone.” (Daily Mail)

Once a trailblazer for championing ethical trading and cruelty-free beauty, The Body Shop appears to have stayed still as rivals in the natural, clean beauty space, such as Lush or Neal’s Yard Remedies, have moved ahead. (BBC)

Waitrose is to cut hundreds of prices as the retailer battles against Marks & Spencer for Britain’s middle class shoppers (Telegraph £). Waitrose is slashing prices on hundreds of products as it battles to win back middle-class shoppers from Marks & Spencer (Daily Mail).

John Lewis has threatened staff with disciplinary action after a spate of abusive comments on its internal forum as workers brace for sweeping job cuts. (Telegraph £)

The billionaire British co-owners of supermarket Asda borrowed millions more from their petrol station company EG Group to repay debt they took on to buy two private jets. (Financial Times £)

Takeaway delivery drivers are planning to strike on Valentine’s Day to demand better pay and improved working conditions. The action, impacting four food apps including Deliveroo and Uber Eats, is thought to involve as many as 3,000 drivers and riders on Wednesday (BBC).

One of the UK’s best known tea makers has revealed it is monitoring tea supplies on a daily basis as imports reach a “critical period”. Tetley Tea, the country’s second biggest tea brand, said supplies were “much tighter” than it would like amid disruption in the Red Sea (BBC).

British American Tobacco has retained “call” options to reacquire its Russian and Belarusian businesses, it has emerged (The Times £).

The Coca-Cola Company has increased its sales volumes despite raising its prices, beating Wall Street’s revenue estimates in the process and defying a general slump in the consumer goods sector. (The Times £)

Australia’s large supermarkets are charging some fruit and vegetable growers hefty fees to receive quicker payments for their produce, heaping financial pressure on farmers already under strain from cashflow problems. (The Guardian)