The papers this morning focus on the bad news for Sainsbury’s in the latest Kantar Worldpanal market share figures.
“Sainsbury’s sales fall as Tesco ‘stabilises’ in latest supermarket scrap”, writes The Telegraph, while The Times (£) goes with “Sainsbury’s sales slump as new pitch fails” referring to the supermarket’s scrapping of of “buy one get one free” offers in favour of overall lower pricing. “Sainsbury’s suffers sales decline after end of multibuy discounts”, writes The Guardian after it recorded its worst sales performance for 12 months.
The Daily Mail sees the figures as bad news for all of the big four, writing that “the UK’s top supermarkets are still losing ground to high and low end rivals as shoppers share their spending around different retailers” though shoppers are “not turning their backs on the big four entirely”. (The Daily Mail)
Elsewhere the BHS collapse fallout rumbles ever-onwards. The secretive scions of “Black Jack” Dellal, the property tycoon, have been called to give evidence at a parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of BHS (The Times £). Guy and Alexander Dellal, who control Allied Commercial Exporters, will be quizzed about its role in backing bid by Dominic Chappell (The Guardian). Wealthy property backers who bankrolled the purchase of BHS are to be quizzed by MPs over their dealings with the stricken high street chain. (The Daily Mail)
A top City banker, who is a close confidante of Sir Philip Green, advised the convicted fraudster who tried to buy BHS during 2013 and 2014, documents seen by the Guardian reveal. Robin Saunders, is a banker once known as “the queen of the City” and who helped Green raise funds to buy the chain in 2000. (The Guardian)
The Guardian’s Graham Ruddick asks “Why was Philip Green’s former adviser helping a fraudster bid for BHS?” He writes: “An extra layer of intrigue is seemingly added to the BHS scandal every day.” (The Guardian)
AG Barr is hoping for a long hot summer and is continuing its push into Europe, according to the soft drinks maker’s chief executive. Roger White had earlier told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Glasgow it has already engaged in discussions with the Treasury on the proposed fizzy drinks tax. (The Times £)
The Times (£) also carries a piece from Oliver Kamm defending the proposed UK sugar tax. He writes: “Pressure groups are aiming squarely at the chancellor’s announcement in his March budget of a sugar tax on the soft-drinks industry. Perhaps they’ll be successful in rousing public opposition; if so, that would be a shame. The sugar tax has good economics behind it.”
Big Food is under pressure to further reduce salt in meals after US health officials released guidelines aimed at slashing sodium consumption by a third over the next decade. The US Food and Drug Administration, which issued the draft voluntary guidelines on Wednesday, said that Americans consumed on average 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily — almost 50 per cent more than existing federal guidelines. (The Financial Times £)
The Times (£) has an interview with Trevor Clough, founder of Digby, which produces sparkling wine from English soil. “I’m not trying to be Champagne. I’m trying to represent the terroir of England,” he says.