Amazon’s UK ambitions have been checked by the competition watchdog after it launched an in-depth investigation into the online retailer’s purchase of a stake in food delivery company Deliveroo (The Guardian). Amazon’s planned investment in Deliveroo, which includes a minority stake in the online food courier, has moved a step closer to being potentially blocked by a UK regulator (Sky News).

The move by the UK Competition and Markets Authority, which has the power to order the deal to be unwound, marks its increased wariness over the reach of Amazon and other big technology companies (The Financial Times £). The in-depth investigation threatens to jeopardise Amazon’s attempt to break into the UK food delivery space (The BBC).

UK retail sales will grow in 2020 after three years of uncertainty as consumer confidence returns and retailers start to see the benefits of restructuring, according to industry experts. (The Financial Times £)

The growing pressure on bricks-and-mortar retailers has caused the biggest loss of jobs on the high street in 25 years, research suggests (The Times £). UK high streets have shed more than 140,000 jobs this year as store closures and retail failures made 2019 one of the most challenging years in a generation (The Guardian).

Boxing Day shopping visits fell at the sharpest rate for nine years amid a rainy start to the traditional post-Christmas sales period. (Sky News)

Retailers are bracing for another brutal January after fewer shoppers visited stores in the run-up to Christmas. (The Telegraph)

The number of retailers falling into administration in 2019 has fallen despite heavy pressure on high street stores, according to new figures. (The Telegraph)

Sales of ethical goods and services in the UK have increased almost tenfold in 20 years to hit record highs, according to the Co-operative Group (The Financial Times £).

Co-op is the latest retailer to join the vegan craze, launching an array of meat-free products in thousands of shops, as it ramps up its efforts to sell more groceries online (The Telegraph). The Co-op is aiming to cash in on customers making New Year’s resolutions to go vegan, by launching a range of plant- based products (The Daily Mail).

Greggs, the UK’s largest bakery chain, will end speculation about its hotly anticipated new vegan snack by launching a meat-free version of its popular steak bake. (The Guardian)

Marks & Spencer is scrambling to find a new finance chief less than a week before Humphrey Singer, the incumbent for less than 18 months, leaves the embattled high street chain. (Sky News)

Buckling to Washington on food standards risks shortening British lives and piling pressure on to the NHS, the country’s largest farming union has claimed. (The Times £)

The national living wage is to rise by 6.2% in what the government says is “the biggest cash increase ever”. The rise is more than four times the rate of inflation and takes hourly pay for people over 25 to £8.72 from April. (The BBC)

The finance boss of Domino’s Pizza, David Bauernfeind, has died in an apparent drowning tragedy in Mauritius. (Sky News)

Pet-food maker Lily’s Kitchen has seen sales jump by almost 19% to £31m. (The Times £)

Tens of thousands of people now have no local cash machines and the problem is getting worse, says the Association of Convenience Stores. (The BBC)

Vodka-maker Stock Spirits handed its boss a £200,000 package so he could move from Poland to Britain — even though most of its products are sold in eastern Europe. (The Times £)

Changing consumer tastes and an increase in taxes have taken the sparkle out of sales for champagne and other fizzy wines in the UK, with the first fall in demand since the start of the ‘prosecco boom’ more than five years ago. (The Financial Times £)

Champagne has slumped in popularity in the UK over the past year, while consumers also kept other forms of sparkling wine on ice. (The Guardian)

A growing preference for low-alcohol drinks could be bad news for some but will bring cheer to others, writes The FT. “While English sparkling wine has found ever more fans, at home and abroad, openings of craft breweries have slowed to single digits. More important, gin, a key driver of spirits volume expansion in the UK, has lost its recent appeal to Britons.” (The Financial Times £)

Latin American exporters have ended the year with a flourish after weaker currencies boosted their earnings and triggered a surge in production of goods such as sugar, coffee and copper. (The Financial Times £)

Will 2020 be the year the vaping bubble goes up in smoke, asks The Telegraph? “Big Tobacco has picked itself up in 2019. Shares have regained some – but far from all – of the ground they lost in 2018.” (The Telegraph)

Pieminister has returned to profit as sales grew 15% to £16.5m, according to accounts filed at Companies House. (The Times £)