Plans for a multi-billion-pound sale of UK chemist Boots have run into a series of difficulties after a potential buyer walked away and bidders raised concerns about financing a deal with markets in turmoil because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (The Financial Times £).The frontrunner to take over Boots has pulled out of the auction – raising the prospect of a listing in London or a tie-up with Asda (The Daily Mail).

Sainsbury’s embarks on major in-store shakeup putting 2,000 jobs at risk as the chain axes 200 cafes and 34 hot food counters plus 54 bakeries amid new cost-cutting drive (The Guardian). Sainsbury’s has told staff it was looking to shut most of the cafes in its supermarkets next month, affecting about 2,000 roles (The Telegraph). About 6,650 jobs have been put at risk since Simon Roberts took over as chief executive two years ago, notes The Times (£). It comes as part of a wider shake up by the retailer to cut back on costs and transform its dining, takeaway and home delivery services (Sky News).

Grocery prices rose at their fastest rate in more than eight years in February, according to the market analysts Kantar, which predicted the squeeze on shoppers would continue as a result of supply-chain disruption and the conflict in Ukraine (The Guardian).

The German discount retailer Lidl has overtaken Co-op to become the sixth-biggest supermarket in Britain, according to figures released by the analyst Kantar (The Times £). Private equity-owned supermarkets Asda and Morrisons have fallen further behind their biggest rivals (The Daily Mail).

Prices in shops are rising at their fastest rate in a decade with increases last month that were 1.8% higher than in February last year (The Times £). Shop prices rose at their fastest rate in over a decade last month, new figures show (Sky News).

A jump in profits at the petrol station company EG Group has prompted its owners, the Issa brothers, to say that they want to “take advantage of the opportunities ahead”. (The Times £)

One of London’s most prominent and public oligarchs, Mikhail Fridman, whoi’s investment vehicle paid nearly £2bn to buy Holland & Barrett in 2017, and his closest associate Petr Aven on Monday were placed on a European Union sanctions list accused of profiting from and enabling Vladimir Putin’s regime (Sky News). Billionaire banker Mikhail Fridman told a press conference in London the war was a tragedy for both sides. But he stopped short of direct criticism, saying personal remarks could be a risk not just to himself but also staff and colleagues. (The BBC)

Nils Pratley in the Guardian writes: “Spirits group Diageo’s last annual report trumpeted a sales increase in eastern Europe “mainly driven by strong growth in Russia”. Should Diageo be in the business today of selling premium bottles of Johnnie Walker whisky to wealthy Russian consumers, and paying local duties to the Russian government in the process? Well, like JLR, it has paused exports, but the approach does not yet sound like a fixed policy.” (The Guardian)

Britannia Industries, India’s biggest bread and biscuit maker by market share, has said it is looking for acquisitions as severe commodity inflation bites into consumer goods companies. (The Financial Times £)