Lidl is planning an online delivery service in yet another assault against the UK’s biggest supermarket chains, writes The Daily Mail. The German discounter has created a holding company with Companies House called Lidl Digital Logistics as it gears up to enter the grocery delivery market.

The proposed £12 billion merger between two of Britain’s supermarket giants is facing the prospect of fresh scrutiny as MPs prepare to launch a parliamentary inquiry over the deal (The Times £). Senior MPs are preparing to trigger a major inquiry into Sainsbury’s merger with rival supermarket Asda amid concerns Britain’s farmers could face unprecedented demands for price cuts (The Daily Mail).

Marks & Spencer is facing the risk of demotion from the FTSE 100 for the first time since the index was formed more than 30 years ago. Shares in the retailer, which started as a market stall in Leeds in 1884, have fallen in value by more than a fifth over the past year (The Times £). Marks & Spencer is bracing for a second straight year of falling profits and a potential relegation from the FTSE 100 index as biting retail conditions hit food and clothing sales (The Telegraph). Hedge funds are betting millions on Marks & Spencer crashing out of the FTSE 100 as its sales fall and share price plummets (The Daily Mail).

Hundreds of Marks & Spencer staff will find out as soon as Monday whether their store is closing, as the retailer accelerates its retrenchment from struggling UK high streets (The Guardian). Marks & Spencer is set to speed up its store closure programme this week as it reports another year of falling sales. It is expected to increase the total number of “full line” stores it will lose — those selling both clothing and food — from 60 to 100 (The Times £)

Alistair Osborne in The Times (£) writes that M&S “is heading for a significant fall”. “Even after 18 changes to the below-board management team in 18 months, the best Mr Rowe can offer is falling sales and profits. Plus, of course, another “transformation”, the one thing always available at M&S in the full range of sizes.”

The British high street is bracing for another body blow this week as some of the country’s largest retailers prepare for more store closures while others look to exert extra pressure on landlords to reduce rents. House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer are expected to shed dozens of stores in the coming months, while Next, the clothing retailer, is looking at inserting a clause into its property leases to lower its rent. (The Financial Times £)

The fashion retailer Next is preparing to take a stand against landlords who grant rent cuts and store closures to rivals using a controversial insolvency process (The Times £).

A leading property consultancy has accused some retailers of “opportunistically” seeking to shut expensive stores through company voluntary arrangements, which it said succeeded only rarely. (The Times £)

The downturn in the retail market has also hit the listed property sector. Investors in the stock market are already pricing in sharp discounts on the reported net asset value of some listed property companies, as reflected in their share prices. Analysts say that falls in the booked valuations of such commercial property portfolios are sure to follow. (The Financial Times £)

Ocado deliveries will soon include the largest ever executive bonus for the boss of a London-listed company, and a multi-million pound surprise windfall for its chairman (The Telegraph). Ocado boss Tim Steiner is in line to collect £110m in bonuses early next year — a record payout for the boss of a UK-listed company. A surge in the online grocer’s share price last week has teed up the payout for the 48-year-old (The Times £).

Former Marks & Spencer boss Lord Rose is £3 million richer after grocery delivery firm Ocado struck a ground-breaking deal with a giant US supermarket. (The Daily Mail)

“Ocado’s big deal may not deliver” suggests Simon Duke in The Times (£). “The bears, though, still question when Ocado will generate meaningful cashflows. Under licensing deals, it pockets a slice of the revenues generated at its whizzy warehouses. However, it must shoulder part of the £30m cost of building each distribution centre. Every time it signs a new licensing deal, the promise of gushing profits moves further into the future.”

Warehouses reach for the sky as urban demand soars, writes The Financial Times (£). High occupancy rates in big economies are driving a wave of investment in the sector.

The John Lewis Partnership’s employee council has kept up pressure on its chairman by holding a secret ballot on his leadership for the second time in two years. (The Times £)

Britain’s flat beer market struggles to revive, writes The FT. Brewers unlikely to return to top table of UK industry as popularity of ale wanes. (The Financial Times £)