Shoppers are stocking up on festive groceries earlier than ever with Asda reporting a surge in frozen turkeys and “lockdown proof” items alongside a slowdown in quarterly sales (The Times £).
The supermarket said sales of frozen turkey crowns, which serve three or four people, are up 230% on last year (The Mail).
Asda’s sales growth fell in the third quarter despite a continuing online surge (The Telegraph). The Walmart-owned supermarket said like-for-like sales were 2.7% higher in the three months to 30 September.
Walmart and Home Depot have pulled further away from their struggling rivals in US retail as shoppers spent billions of dollars more than usual at the two big-box chains while shunning shopping malls and department stores (The Financial Times £).
Business leaders have warned the government it is putting hundreds of thousands of livelihoods at risk by leaving companies in the dark over the restrictions they will be working under when the English national lockdown expires on 2 December (The Times £).
Retailers losing £2bn a week in lockdown, The Telegraph reports. Rishi Sunak has ramped up the furlough scheme, but businesses still have other costs that must be met despite not being able to trade.
Hospitality chiefs and shopkeepers told MPs on the Business Committee the ‘brutal’ measures have led to mass redundancies as firms miss out on ‘crucial’ Christmas trade (The Mail).
Retailers, pubs and restaurants have called on the government to give them at least a week’s warning about new coronavirus trading restrictions after England’s lockdown ends on 2 December (The Guardian).
Unilever has set a target of selling €1bn of vegan products a year by 2027 as it looks to take advantage of health-conscious consumers trying milk and meat alternatives (The Times £).
The estimated five-fold sales growth over the next five to seven years will be driven by new products from The Vegetarian Butcher meat-free label, and bolstered by expansion of dairy-free ice cream and mayonnaise ranges from Ben & Jerry’s, Hellmann’s, Magnum and Wall’s (The Guardian).
The target far exceeds the €200m of sales the consumer goods group expects from plant-based substitutes this year (The Financial Times £).
Imperial Brands warned that sales of vapes and similar products dropped in the past year, offsetting slight growth in tobacco revenue as smokers spent more on cigarettes during the pandemic (The Financial Times £).
The new chief executive of Imperial Brands is reviewing all the company’s brands and markets, but remains committed to its struggling e-cigarette business (The Times £).
But the tobacco giant behind Lambert & Butler and Gauloises was boosted by a surge in Britons smoking during lockdown (The Telegraph).
The group, which makes Gauloises cigarettes and Golden Virginia tobacco, cashed in from a drop in travel due to Covid, which has seen smokers buying more cigarettes from shops, instead of in duty-free shops abroad (The Mail).
Amazon has launched an online delivery service for prescription medicine in the US, offering big discounts in an effort to disrupt the pharmaceutical sector and challenge retailers such as Walgreens and CVS Health (The Financial Times £).
The ecommerce group launched Amazon Pharmacy yesterday, offering Americans fast delivery of prescription drugs and deep discounts on generic and branded medications (The Times £).
Failure to strike a post-Brexit trade deal would cut the UK’s economic growth rate by more than half next year, delaying a full recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by KPMG (The Guardian).
The country’s economy will grow by just 4.4% in 2021 without a deal, a report by chief economist Yael Selfin said (The Mail).
Sainsbury’s Bank and the Co-operative Bank revealed separate takeover approaches yesterday as a wave of consolidation sweeps the industry hit by low interest rates (The Mail).
The Co-operative Bank is in takeover talks with a US private equity firm, as speculation builds that the UK banking sector is heading for a wave of merger and takeover deals (The Guardian).
Turnaround specialist Cerberus had made a swoop for troubled Co-op Bank just months after the lender’s fifth chief executive in less than a decade quit (The Telegraph).