Landlords are bracing to receive just 10% of quarterly rent payments due this Wednesday, as both owners and tenants grapple with the coronavirus crisis. On June 24, rents are due to cover the three months to September 29 but many businesses will not be able to cover payment after being shut for three months put a huge strain on their finances (The Financial Times £).

Retailers let out a sigh of relief when the government said they cannot be evicted for not paying rent - for a further three months. The move, which was introduced in March to protect shops and restaurants forced to shut their doors, was due to expire in June but has been extended until September to allow businesses to recover from the coronavirus sales slump (The Telegraph).

However, despite a partial recovery with sales rising 12% last month, the total figure is still 13% lower than pre-coronavirus and shops still have a “hill to climb”, economists have warned (The Telegraph). 

And with footfall down 50% on normal pre-Covid levels, “how long can shops really stay open?” asks The Telegraph. Despite the queues seen on Monday, data from Springboard showed stores were half-empty in the four days of last week compared to the same period last year.

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a reduction to the two-metre social distancing rules on Tuesday, as he outlines plans to reopen the hospitality sector from 4 July (Sky News). The reduction to one metre will allow for a smoother reopening of pubs and restaurants, with Labour stating it would support the proposals brought forward by Johnson (BBC).

Pubs and restaurants will welcome a reduction in social distancing as it would be the “make or break” factor in whether they will be able to be viable businesses (The Guardian). Meanwhile, the boss of pub chain Oakman Inns said he plans to open all 28 of his pubs across the South East and the Midlands on 4 July, whether or not the government allows it. The CEO said it would be “irresponsible” to delay the opening and put jobs at risk (Sky News).

The UK’s competition watchdog has launched a probe into potential profiteering on items such as hand sanitiser during the pandemic, after receiving several complaints from consumers forced to pay massive prices for essential products earlier in the year. The CMA would look into pharmacies and convenience stores after receiving over 3,100 complaints, ranging from masks to groceries with hand sanitisers being the products with some of the biggest mark-ups (The Financial Times £).

The CMA is investigating four pharmacies and convenience stores accused of price gauging on hand sanitiser products during the pandemic after sales of cleaning and hygiene products soared (The Telegraph).

John Lewis has announced a further nine reopenings from this week, bringing its total operating stores to 22 across the country. A further 28 will remain shut for the moment - with insiders warning it will be unlikely all 50 stores will resume trading (The Telegraph).

Unilever’s decision to simplify its structure by choosing London as its headquarters spurred from many different issues the consumer goods giant is facing, writes The Telegraph. Brexit, a lagging share price and finally a pandemic have put Unilever under pressure and at risk of some intervention by an activist investor. 

English sparkling wine production is set to soar over the next decade, producer Nyetimber has predicted, with production to rise to at least 20 million bottles a year by 2030, including a doubling of its own output from one to two million bottles (The Times).