Marks and Spencer will cut another 7,000 jobs over the next three months in the most brutal cull of the UK retail sector since the coronavirus pandemic began causing havoc on Britain’s high streets (The Financial Times £). Marks & Spencer has bet the house on a digital revolution after it laid off 7,000 workers, freeing up vital cash to help build an online retail empire (The Telegraph). M&S Marks & Spencer is to cut 7,000 jobs as the retailer slashes costs and overhauls the way the business is run during the coronavirus pandemic (The Guardian).

Virus-ravaged M&S seizes on chance for brutal reform, writes The Times (£) saying the pandemic has forced the retailer into changes it previously dared not make. “The woes of having too many shops, dwindling clothing sales and a sluggish, silo culture were all well known. The pandemic has exacerbated all those problems and forced M&S to turbocharge its transformation efforts.”

Covid conditions have really demonstrated how slowly change has happened at M&S over the years. Rowe may be moving faster than predecessors, but the big event at the start of 2018 was the plan to close 100 to 120 small and underinvested high-street stores – even now, though, only half the programme has been completed. (The Guardian)

Chief executive Steve Rowe described the redundancies as “an important step”. It is unlikely to be the last as he struggles to slow Marks & Spencer’s retreat from the first rank of British retail brands. (Sky News)

The pandemic has given Marks & Spencer a much needed kick up the backside, writes The Telegraph. The cash Marks & Spencer will save by slashing its workforce should help the ailing retailer’s push to sell more goods online. (The Telegraph)

There is even more pain still to come for M&S, writes The Telegraph as the cherished retailer may have to take even more radical steps as coronavirus upturns its model. (The Telegraph)

The FT writes: “The crisis does give M&S management the cover they need to make painful cuts… It has been plain for years that the retailer needs to slim down: a programme of 110 store closures started two years ago but was clearly not enough. The coronavirus crisis has again exposed the limitations of M&S’s non-food business.” (The Financial Times £)

Online sales at Asda have doubled since the start of the pandemic, helping the supermarket to boast about its potential just weeks before private equity firms place second bids which could value it at £7bn (The Times £). Asda is planning to increase its online sales capacity by another 50% by next year as it looks to ecommerce and keen pricing to halt a slide in market share (The Financial Times £). Asda is to expand its grocery delivery capacity by 40% and extend a partnership with takeaway courier group Uber Eats after a surge in demand for home shopping during the coronavirus pandemic (The Guardian). Asda plans to expand its online delivery capacity to 1m weekly slots by next year after online sales doubled in the second quarter (The Telegraph).

Walmart has reinforced its position as one of the corporate winners from the pandemic as the world’s biggest retailer reported another jump in sales, although it cautioned growth had begun to moderate as the effect of government stimulus funds faded. (The Financial Times £)

Supermarket sales have begun to slow in Great Britain since the easing of lockdown restrictions, as the introduction of compulsory face coverings in stores in England and Scotland initially deterred some shoppers (The Guardian). Shoppers made two million fewer trips to the supermarket than expected in the week after face mask rules came into force, according to latest industry figures (Sky News). Ocado has emerged as one of the biggest winners of the coronavirus crisis, eclipsing its ‘Big Four’ supermarket rivals (The Daily Mail).

Amazon is stepping up its assault on the British food market by putting Morrisons on its main website, giving millions more customers access to free same-day deliveries. (The Times £)

Supermarkets ready for a second wave – but still fear a no-deal Brexit. Supply chain planning to cope with a disorderly EU departure helped grocers cope with the pressure of the crisis – and those still to come. (The Telegraph)

The UK Treasury has hailed its “eat out to help out” discounts, saying the scheme had brought people back into restaurants and pubs in the first two weeks of August (The Financial Times £). Diners have tucked into more than 35 million discounted meals in the first two weeks of the chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme (The Times £, The BBC).

Pizza Express plans to close almost a fifth of its British restaurants under a financial restructuring that places 1,100 jobs at risk (The Times £, Sky News, The BBC).

China has begun an investigation into claims that cut-price Australian wine imports are unfairly hurting its own producers - in the latest sign of tension between the two countries. (Sky News)