The nationals follow up The Grocer’s story that credit insurer Atradius reduced its cover for Poundland as a result of the crisis at parent group Steinhoff. Read the full story in The Grocer here.
On Friday night The Guardian reported that Poundland faces potential difficulties with suppliers after an insurance company reduced its cover on credit for those selling goods to the cut price chain. The Sunday Times followed up by writing that reliable industry sources say another credit insurer, Euler Hermes, is also considering cutting cover. The Mail writes that the move could unnerve suppliers in the run-up to Christmas, although Poundland stressed it was ‘firing on all cylinders’. The Times covers the story again this morning, writing that the loss of trade credit insurance often signals a difficult period for a retailer.
There was little in the weekend papers about the end of the Unilever spreads auction. The Financial Times noted late on Friday afternoon that US buyout fund KKR paid €6.8bn to win the fiercely contested auction for the spreads business, which includes Flora, Becel and Blue Band margarines. The paper added that the sale marked the end of an era for Unilever, which was created from the merger of Margarine Unie, the Dutch food company with the UK’s Lever Brothers in 1929.
There was also little mention of another story breaking late on Friday night. Procter & Gamble has agreed to give Nelson Peltz, the veteran activist investor, a seat on its board in a decision that ends one of the most expensive and viciously fought proxy battles in corporate America, The Financial Times writes.
The Mail on Sunday has an interview with Waitrose boss Rob Collins ahead of Christmas week. “The excitement is building, there’s a buzz in our shops,” he tells the paper.
The Mail on Sunday’s Midas share tips column examines Conviviality in the wake of the acquisition of 127 convenience stores from Palmer & Harvey. It says that there is an expectation the drinks group’s stock will rise further in the next 12 months.
The Sunday Times says Whitbread boss Alison Brittain must “wake up and smell the strategy”. Brittain is facing pressure to extract more value from key assets such as Costa Coffee and Premier Inn.
Questor in The Telegraph flags the “remarkable” turnaround for WH Smith as its travel shops help the share price soar more than 50% since last Christmas.
Christmas shoppers show caution amid price squeeze, with economists questioning how long it will be before inflation hits consumer spending (The Financial Times). The Times has a gloomy piece about the high street headline: “Black Friday sales put a gun to the head of Christmas.”
The weak pound has boosted English sparkling wine sales before Christmas, The Guardian reports. Domestic fizzy wines are replacing champagne in some pubs and restaurants this year, but prosecco is still booming.
Butchers are carving out a niche as UK shoppers opt for indie stores, The Observer writes. Research for the digital marketing agency Wunderman, conducted by YouGov, found that half of the 2,000 British shoppers surveyed will shop at places they don’t usually do so for Christmas, that they are planning to steer clear of online retailers and that the biggest winners will be independent butchers and fishmongers.
Waitrose has been urged to suspend sales of one of its premium products, an eco-certified king scallop from Shetland, which can sell heavily at Christmas (The Guardian). The marine conservation campaign Open Seas challenged Waitrose after it raised concerns that the scallop fishery causes unjustifiable ecological damage because the shellfish are dredged from the seabed.