Lidl’s UK arm has been hit by a surge in its borrowing costs, threatening its previously relentless rise. The German discount supermarket’s British operation plunged into the red after the interest bill on its debts almost trebled to £108m. (Daily Mail)
Morrisons is gearing up for a more aggressive push into wholesaling as the supermarket chain’s private equity owners aim to recover lost ground after their £7bn takeover. (The Times £)
Hovis, the 137-year-old bread-maker, made a loss last year as the surging cost of ingredients and utilities dented its margins. (The Times £)
Unsecured creditors in Wilko are owed £550m — but face recovering as little as 4p in the pound (The Times £).
Tesco’s margins will be in the spotlight once again this week when Britain’s largest grocer delivers its trading update for the first half of the year. (The Times £)
Farmers supplying Tesco have agreed to plant more crops this year over fears that climate change will spoil more of their harvest. (Telegraph)
Major UK retailers including Burberry, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer have called on the Home Secretary to take urgent action to curb a nationwide surge in shoplifting and accompanying abuse of store staff (Financial Times £). Almost 90 retail leaders, including the bosses of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Boots and WH Smith, have written to the government demanding action on rising retail crime, in which violent criminals are “emptying stores” (The Guardian).
Abusing supermarket staff who ask for ID should be categorised as a serious criminal offense, business leaders have said (Telegraph).
Aldi’s gamble on UK growth is raising questions among industry experts who wonder whether Britain’s love affair with the German discounter is already coming to an end. At the same time, the store openings that have long provided the fuel for Aldi’s rapid growth may be getting harder to come by. (Telegraph)
“As a business leader, I can no longer support the Tory party”, writes Iceland chairman Richard Walker in The Observer. He had hoped to become a Conservative MP, but has quit the party, labelling it “out of touch”. (The Guardian)
John Lewis has said warnings about the death of the high street are “overstated”, as it hailed an 8% rise in customer numbers in-store. (Telegraph)
Steep rises in the prices of sugar and cocoa are set to hit sweet treat lovers’ wallets as extreme weather conditions hinder production, even as broader measures of food inflation ease off. (Financial Times £)
Businesses trading overseas are being warned that they face more changes in the next 15 months than at the start of 2021 when they were adapting to Britain’s departure from Europe. (The Times £)
An army of 400 grape pickers will descend on the Nyetimber estate in West Sussex on Friday to begin what is expected to be a record harvest of 865 acres, up 7.7% on last year. (The Times £)
Britain’s bathing downturn has put the shareholders in PZ Cussons into a lather. The company’s top brands include Imperial Leather, Sanctuary Spa and Original Source, and despite the launch of a budget brand (Cussons Creations), the business is suffering from our soap-dodging ways… However, a falling share price makes the company look attractive to new buyers. (Daily Mail)
A ban on some single-use plastic products came into force across England on Sunday. (BBC)
Questions about the impact of artificial sweeteners have acquired new urgency in an era when manufacturers’ desire to cut costs, alongside a wave of sugar taxes around the world, has prompted food and drinks companies to swap out sugar for sweeteners in thousands of varieties of drinks, confectionery, baked goods and processed foods. (Financial Times £)