Ocado shares soared on Friday after it made its first move into Asia by striking a deal with Japanese retailer Aeon to develop its online business (The Telegraph). Ocado shares jumped nearly 10 per cent after it struck a deal with a Japanese supermarket, boosting founder Tim Steiner’s fortune by more than £32m (The Daily Mail).

Ocado, the UK food delivery service transforming itself into a provider of automated warehouses for retail chains, has struck a deal to build out the online business of Aeon, Japan’s largest supermarket operator (The Financial Times £). Japan’s biggest supermarket chain has called on Ocado to build its new automated warehouses, even though the country leads the world in robot technology (The Times £).

The FT writes that the deal “further delays date when UK group becomes profitable”. “Before this deal, it was expected to cross the line in 2022. It could now be another two years into the future. Jam tomorrow should be worth the wait, for once.” (The Financial Times £)

The buzz around microfulfilment contributed to a 20% drop in Ocado’s shares last month, before they recovered on the back of its latest licensing deal. Microfulfilment could be the catalyst for a shift towards fewer, smaller online grocery deliveries — a mode of shopping that is prevalent in the convenience bricks-and-mortar business but hasn’t yet developed in the same way online, according to the research firm IGD. (The Times £)

American shopping habits are taking root in the UK, according to Barclaycard figures showing a year-on-year jump in transactions in the opening hours of Black Friday. (The Financial Times £)

Millions of Americans avoided shopping malls and instead reached for their smartphones to land Black Friday bargains, fuelling a boom in online orders over the extended Thanksgiving holiday (The Financial Times £). The frenzy associated with Black Friday shopping was missing this year as US retailers offered earlier discounts and more consumers shopped online, though spot checks around the country showed traffic picked up after a sluggish morning (The Guardian).

Cyber Monday is shaping up to be the biggest day ever for US ecommerce sales after fewer shoppers visited bricks and mortar stores on Black Friday, according to initial data that highlight Amazon’s continued disruption of retail (The Financial Times £). Retailers were poised for record-breaking Cyber Monday sales following blockbuster spending in this year’s Black Friday events, a forecast showed (The BBC).

Aldi targets affluent middle classes for Christmas as tinned goods are canned. Aldi’s boss Giles Hurley is intent on adding a reputation for high-quality produce to its low prices, while keen for Aldi to burnish its British credentials, from traditional Christmas dinner to sponsoring Team GB. (The Times £)

Aldi stores have been besieged by shoppers queuing, shoving and reportedly even fighting to get their hands on its new Kevin the carrot festive toy range. (The Guardian)

British plant-based food maker Meatless Farm has hired the former head of Lidl to chair its board as it looks to exploit the boom in demand for meat alternatives. Jesper Højer has been appointed to the Leeds-based company, with a brief to help expand the rapidly growing business, after leaving Lidl in April this year. (The Guardian)

Just Eat has opened talks with the City’s takeover referee as expectations rise that its two suitors will face off in a rare head-to-head auction over Christmas. (The Telegrpah)

If Prosus wants to get its hands on Just Eat’s Brazilian stake, it could be forced to put more cash on the table, writes The Times (£). It notes that Brazil might be 5,500 miles from Just Eat’s core UK market but it is at the centre of a £4.9bn tussle between two of the world’s biggest takeaway groups. Dutch-listed Takeaway.com and South African tech giant Naspers are in an increasingly heated battle to win over Just Eat shareholders to their respective offers. (The Times £)

Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman is under pressure from lenders to inject new funds into his vitamin chain Holland & Barrett as it is hit by the crisis on the high street. (The Telegraph)

Consumer confidence rose last month as households shrugged off uncertainty about the impending general election, a poll has suggested. (The Times £)

“Boringly consistent” are not the ambitions you would expect to hear from a chief executive upon taking the helm at one of the world’s largest consumer goods firms. But those are the aspirations outlined by Laxman Narasimhan, who took the reins at Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Nurofen and Durex, in September. (The Telegraph)

British businessman John Timpson attempts to answer the question ‘what has gone wrong at M&S?’ He writes: “I’m driven to conclude that M&S is very unlikely to return to the glory days. I think it should stop trying to be what it used to be and work out what customers will want it to provide 20 years from now.” (The Telegraph)

Investment advisers ISS and Glass Lewis have recommended shareholders support the takeover of Eddie Stobart by private equity group Dbay Advisors, boosting its chances of winning them over at a meeting to decide the deal next week (The Financial Times £). A bitter fight for the future of one of Britain’s biggest distribution companies will draw in the City mergers watchdog on Monday just days before shareholders vote on a controversial takeover bid (Sky News).