Christine Tacon, Groceries Code Adjudicator

Officials at the watchdog set up by the Government to oversee the supermarket industry spent at least a year battling with Whitehall to get powers to impose fines on grocers for misconduct, according to The Independent.

The Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) office, headed by Christine Tacon, was set up two years ago, but was only given the power to fine 1% of UK revenues earlier this year, despite repeated promises from ministers that legislation would be passed. Emails seen by the paper, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show the GCA was deeply frustrated at not being kept informed and being fobbed off with excuses for the delay. (The Independent)

Supermarket shoppers looking for bargains are being ripped off by “dodgy special offers”, some of which appear to break government guidelines, a consumer pressure group has claimed. Which? has accused retailers of creating the illusion of savings that in some cases leave consumers worse off. Which? has launched a petition, “Put an End to Misleading Pricing”, which has been signed by more than 60,000 people. A complaint has been submitted to the Competition and Markets Authority. (The Times £)

The departure of Thorntons boss Jonathan Hart gets plenty of column inches this morning. The Telegraph writes: “The chocolate retailer has endured a torrid few months as it struggles to adapt its business model”. While The Times (£) notes that Hart’s decision to move away from the high street and into the order books of the big retailers has been condemned by the grandson of Joseph Thornton, the company’s founder.

The Daily Mail says of Thorntons: “The firm has a track record in serving up profit warnings and blaming unexpected weather conditions”, and picks out a number of “feeble excuses” including the weather being too hot or cold and the timing of UK holidays.

Bonds of London, the 120-year old sweet maker, is back in the black, reporting a surge in profit and revenue for the year to Dec 31, 2014, following bumper sales of “blue raspberry” flavoured sweets, retro sweets and seasonal products. (The Telegraph)

Next was revealed as the latest tax-avoiding multinational yesterday when a tribunal dismissed its “ill-founded” attempt to circumvent more than £32 million in UK tax. The clothing retailer took advantage of complex laws offering tax relief on dividend payments to help it to shelter £106 million in overseas profits, the tax tribunal found. (The Times £)

The FT’s Lex column looks at Cranswick after its annual results yesterday, noting the maker of high-end sausages has posted “meaty returns” over the past decade. It states: “Relative to its earnings, Cranswick’s shares are at just a small premium to the market. Pass the gravy.” (The Financial Times £)