The boss of Morrisons has stepped up the supermarket’s price war with Aldi and Lidl to win back customers. The supermarket will lower the cost of staples – from cornflakes to baby wipes – to match Aldi and Lidl. (Daily Mail)

A jump in supermarket spending in January helped retail sales to their best month since 2021, raising hopes that Britain will exit a short-lived recession at the start of the year (The Times £). Retailers in Great Britain enjoyed the strongest rebound in monthly sales in almost three years in January as people returned to the shops after a slump in Christmas shopping (The Guardian). Retail sales in Great Britain rebounded in January following a slump in December, suggesting the economy has picked up some momentum after a weak end to 2023 (Financial Times £). Retail purchases rebounded last month following a significant plunge in December, raising hopes of a quick end to the UK’s economic recession (Daily Mail). Retail sales have grown significantly - far exceeding expectations - as consumer spending bounced back in January (Sky News). Shop sales rebounded in January as shoppers flocked to stock up on food at supermarkets and take advantage of new year bargains (BBC).

The co-owners of Asda could avoid paying millions of pounds in stamp duty if one sells their shares in the debt-laden grocer to the other. (Daily Mail)

David Beckham has quietly sold his shares in a cannabinoid product group, Cellular Goods, that has stumbled from one problem to another since it floated in London three years ago. (The Times £)

Cannabis-based industry waits for clarity to emerge. The food regulator has issued new guidance revising down its recommended daily intake of cannabidiol, or CBD, posing a fresh challenge to an emerging sector. (The Times £)

The Body Shop’s mainland European businesses have begun shutting down, with the German stores put into administration and its Belgian staff told they will be next, placing more than 460 jobs at risk across the two countries. (The Guardian)

The Body Shop’s fair trade suppliers who work with vulnerable people from the Amazon to Africa say they have been left with more than $1m worth of beauty ingredients that may now never be ordered or paid for by the ethical beauty chain. (The Guardian)

Pret a Manger has reduced the price of its best-selling sandwiches after the retailer was hit with claims of profiteering. (Telegraph £)

European competition authorities are focusing more on companies in the consumer sector as inflation heightens the risk of uncompetitive behaviour. In 2022, 17 unannounced inspections — dawn raids — were targeted by competition authorities across the UK, EU and Switzerland at companies in the consumer sector, but this had risen to 26 a year later. (Financial Times £)

Britain’s beekeepers are backing ­proposed new rules to combat fraud in the supply chain, ensuring a jar of honey can be traced on its journey of up to 5,000 miles from the beehive to the shop shelf. (The Guardian)

Scottish whisky and gin makers have called on Jeremy Hunt to slash alcohol duty ahead of the Spring Budget (Daily Mail). Hospitality industry bodies have united to demand action from the chancellor as firms continue to struggle under a weight of costs in the tough economy (Sky News).

Why Britain’s brewers are in crisis — and a pint is costing more. Covid lockdowns hit brewers and pub operators especially hard. Throw in the minimum wage rise and many businesses face closure unless something changes. (The Times £)