Swathes of customers have raced to bulk-buy household essentials ahead of a second national lockdown despite reassurances from supermarkets that there was a good supply of products (The Daily Mail). Talk of a second lockdown prompted people to make emergency hair and beauty appointments, scramble to book slots for home deliveries as shelves were cleared of toilet roll and customers queued outside shops (The Telegraph).
Retailers are bracing themselves for a lockdown “nightmare before Christmas” that could kill off parts of the industry before the new year (The Times £). Retailers and hospitality firms have warned of the devastating financial impact of a new month-long lockdown in England which they say threatens billions of pounds worth of Christmas trade and puts hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk (The Guardian). British retailers, bars and restaurants were furious on Saturday evening at being ordered to close in the run up to the crucial Christmas trading period (The Telegraph). Retailers warned this weekend of a meltdown on the high street as they prepared to close their doors at the busiest time of the year (The Times £).
Bars, pubs and retailers are calling for a fresh package of government financial support to prevent more redundancies and business failures as the new lockdown in England hits the crucial run-up to the festive period (The Financial Times £). A Covid Christmas offers little cheer for hospitality sector as the industry and its supply chain face crippling uncertainty in what is usually their busiest time of year (The Telegraph).
The chancellor dramatically extended his furlough scheme last night, just hours before it was due to end, bowing to demands from business (The Times £). Furlough payments will be extended at 80% for the duration of England’s second lockdown, the prime minister has confirmed (Sky News). Rishi Sunak’s decision to extend the furlough scheme may have come too late to save jobs, employment experts said yesterday (The Times £).
The new boss of Sainsbury’s is eyeing a possible sale of the supermarket giant’s banking arm as interest rates remain at rock-bottom (The Times £). The new chief executive of J Sainsbury is plotting a sale of its banking arm as ultra-low interest rates diminish the prospects of making a meaningful return from the business (Sky News). Sainsbury’s new chief executive is considering a sale of the company’s banking arm as record-low interest rates continue to threaten its profitability (The Financial Times £).
Sainsbury’s is tipped to restart dividend payments this week despite a row over it receiving a huge tax break and a second national lockdown. (The Daily Mail)
Sainsbury’s set to sail into Christmas as non-essential retailers close, writes The Telegraph. With the country going into a second lockdown, Sainsbury’s is likely to see another sales boost in the run up to Christmas. (The Telegraph)
Food and farming campaigners have won a victory in the battle over post-Brexit imports, with the government agreeing to a permanent body that will examine trade deals before they are signed (The Financial Times £). The government has finally vowed not to allow chlorinated chicken or hormone-fed beef on British supermarket shelves, defying demands from the US that animal welfare standards be lowered as part of a future trade deal (The Guardian).
The move to establish the trade and agriculture commission on a statutory footing does not close the door on chlorinated chicken, which is emblematic of Brexit food fears, but it does add a layer of scrutiny to any trade deals, much-demanded by high-profile campaigners. (The Guardian)
Marks & Spencer is set to announce the first loss in its 94-year history as … slumped to their first losses on record because of measures taken to combat the coronavirus (The Times £). High Street firms are preparing for a ‘catastrophic’ Christmas as Marks & Spencer heads for its first loss in its 94-year history as a listed company (The Daily Mail).
However, Marks & Spencer is set to reveal the first signs of a boost from its Ocado tie-up after a major collapse in clothing sales. (The Daily Mail)
The petrol stations giant founded by two of Britain’s most successful sibling-entrepreneurs is about to take a big step towards addressing doubts about its corporate governance by naming a slate of independent board members. (Sky News)
A recipe box delivery start-up backed by “body coach” Joe Wicks has raised £25m from investors, propelling it to “unicorn” status. (The Times £)
From beers to spirits and even ready-to-drink cocktails, supermarket sales of no- and low-alcohol drinks have soared during lockdown as consumers become used to popping them into their trolleys with their grocery staples. (The Guardian)
Caffè Nero’s battle with its landlords is heating up after one lodged a court claim against the coffee shop chain. (The Times £)
Spending on chocolate has soared by £50m year on year, powered by sales of chocolate bars bought in supermarkets to eat at home. (The Guardian)
Future of Yodel owner Logistics Group ‘in doubt’. The parcel delivery group owned by the billionaire Barclay family has sounded a warning about its ability to continue trading. (The Times £)
US turkey farmers are preparing for a drop in sales this Thanksgiving. Pandemic rules mean gatherings will be smaller this November, which looks bad for sales of gobblers. (The Financial Times £)