Tesco Extra

Tesco and Marks & Spencer have followed Sainsbury’s with a strong set of Christmas results against tough comparisons last year (The Mail).

Leading UK retailers Tesco and Marks and Spencer reported strong Christmas trading on Thursday but limited profit upgrades amid uncertainty about the extent to which rising costs can be passed on to customers (The Financial Times £).

Both retailers warned of rising prices for shoppers in the months ahead, as costs of shipping and raw ingredients were increasing and supply chain difficulties expected to continue for some months (The Guardian).

Tesco is in the party spirit after a busy Christmas trading period, writes The Times (£).

Tesco promised hard-pressed families an ‘unwavering commitment to value’ as it waded into the supermarket price war (The Mail).

Marks and Spencer celebrated its best ever Christmas as it became the UK’s fastest-growing grocer and bras flew off the shelves (The Mail).

Buoyant Christmas sales of clothing as well as food are further evidence that Marks & Spencer’s turnaround is yielding results, its chief executive said, despite its high street stores coming under pressure (The Telegraph).

Record Christmas trading with growth in all divisions, including clothing and homeware, has provided fresh evidence that Marks & Spencer’s latest turnaround plan is beginning to bed in (The Times £).

An analysis of the M&S results by The Guardian says the retailer may have once looked on the ropes but it has bounced back with its strongest festive period for years.

‘Whisper it, but Marks & Spencer is becoming fashionable again,’ reads the headline of the business editorial in The Telegraph. “High street stalwart’s struggling clothing division appears to be gathering momentum at last.”

“It’s not just any recovery: M&S remains one of Britain’s great legacy brands,” The Mail writes.

However, the business editorial in The Times (£) that retailers should beward a hangover after festive cheer. “This year retailers will be up against two years of tough comparatives. And, thrown into the mix, is the impact of 6 per cent-plus inflation on shopping habits.”

Caffè Nero has killed off the takeover hopes of the billionaire Issa brothers after completing a £330m debt refinancing with a syndicate of three banks (The Times £).

Marks & Spencer has changed the name of its midget gems to avoid offending people with dwarfism (The Times £).

Dr Erin Pritchard, a lecturer in disability studies at Liverpool Hope University, argued the word midget was a form of hate speech (BBC News).

Pubs, bars and restaurants missed out on £3bn in sales over the festive period as the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant kept the public at home, resulting in a second “lost Christmas” for financially embattled proprietors (The Guardian).

People struck down with the Omicron variant are buying so much paracetamol that supplies are running low at many stores (The Times £).

Absences related to Covid reached a 19-month high at the end of last year as real-time indicators show the Omicron variant continued to weigh on businesses in the first week of January when it was near its peak (The Times £).

Ocado and Next have cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff who must self-isolate because of Covid exposure, the BBC has learned.

The fashion retailer Next is the latest company to cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff as Sajid Javid said those who have not had jabs damaged the NHS (The Times £).

London’s markets have been accused of being “toxic to tech companies” by an investor in Darktrace and Deliveroo, two of last year’s biggest digital floats (The Telegraph).

French bakers have taken aim at major supermarket chain Leclerc that is offering inflation-busting low prices for baguettes, saying the move will undermine competition in one of the country’s prized industries (The Guardian).