Another 1,600 jobs are being cut at Tesco as Britain’s biggest supermarket scrapped night shifts in 85 shops and almost 40 petrol stations (The Times £, The Guardian). Tesco said the changes to overnight roles came after it found that by moving stock replenishment to daytime trading hours it could ensure more staff were on the shop floor to help customers at peak times (Sky News).
Tesco’s retreat from Jacks should not be interpreted as a departure from Tesco’s commitment to lower prices, analysts say. Instead, the move suggests that Tesco is serious about challenging Aldi and Lidl across its wider operations rather than through Jack’s alone. (The Telegraph)
Nils Pratley in The Guardian writes: “One can see why boards of big supermarket chains are sometimes overcome by the urge to try to play Aldi and Lidl at their own game. The rise of the discounters is the most significant development in UK grocery retailing over the past 25 years. What the big players tend to overlook, though, is that it took Aldi and Lidl more than a decade to become a serious fighting force.” (The Guardian).
Britain’s biggest carbon dioxide producer and its three industrial gas customers have struck a deal to secure supply that ends weeks of uncertainty and averts a crisis in the country’s meat, beer and soft drinks sectors (The Financial Times £). Food and drink makers have cautiously welcomed a deal that will secure UK production of carbon dioxide, which is used in making meat, beer, baked goods and fizzy drinks, for at least three months (The Guardian).
The average annual grocery bill is on track to rise by £180 this year as the UK’s worsening cost of living squeeze continues, according to the consultants Kantar (The Guardian). Shoppers are facing a further rise in grocery bills equivalent to £180 a year on average as the squeeze on households intensifies, new industry figures show (Sky News, The BBC).
Morrisons was the worst performing supermarket over the festive period following its private equity takeover. (The Daily Mail)
Alex Brummer in The Mail writes: “Both Asda and Morrisons are affected by the albatross of debts around their necks due to the buyouts. The result is that they are less able to compete on price with the German discounters or the biggest beast, Tesco.” (The Daily Mail)
Amazon recruited 15,000 more British workers than it expected to last year as demand for home deliveries and digital services boomed during the pandemic (The Financial Times £). Tech giant Amazon has announced 1,500 new apprenticeships across the UK (The BBC).
Marks and Spencer and Aldi have called a truce to their caterpillar cake war, after the high street stalwart settled its lawsuit with the German discount supermarket (The Financial Times £, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Sky News, The BBC).
The company behind Irn-Bru has revealed it is increasing its prices after its packaging, ingredients and energy-linked commodity costs jumped, as it raised its sales and profit estimates (The Guardian). Soft drinks group AG Barr, the maker of Irn-Bru, has revealed it has increased its prices due to soaring Inflation in Britain (The Daily Mail)
Shop price inflation almost doubled in January to the highest level for nearly a decade as the cost of furniture and flooring shot up (The Guardian). A retail lobby group has warned it will be “impossible” for the sector to shield shoppers from rising costs in the months ahead as till price rises hit their highest level for almost 10 years (Sky News).
Investors raised a glass to Fever-Tree after analysts expressed confidence that a weaker earnings outlook would have little impact on the popularity of the drinks-maker’s brand (The Times £).