McColl’s CEO Jonathan Miller is eyeing a possible takeover of Tesco’s One Stop chain if the supermarket has to sell assets to get its Booker merger passed the CMA. Miller, who took the helm of McColl’s last year, told The Daily Telegraph that he hoped Booker and Tesco will be forced to make disposals. Miller recently oversaw the purchase of 300 Co-op stores. The news is taken from a profile of the McColl’s boss in the paper, which opens with a phone call Miller received on his first day in charge of the business last year from investment bank Rothschild asking if he would like to buy 300 stores from the Co-op.
Marks & Spencer was in focus on Sunday as a host of papers dissected analyst previews of its annual results, due on Wednesday. The Sunday Times writes that the retailer is set to report a 3.3% drop in fashion sales, underlining the scale of the challenge facing its new chairman Archie Norman, with food sales also expected to have fallen by 0.6% in a tough market. The Observer says that after a revival at Christmas proved short-lived, M&S will report a fresh slump in clothing sales on Wednesday, alongside a sharp fall in annual profits after a disappointing end to the year. M&S’ share of the womenswear market has shrunk since the beginning of the year and the group is set to report a fresh dip in profits in its results next week, The Mail on Sunday adds. But analysts at Deutsche Bank say some green shoots may be visible among the figures as the company is managing to cut back its dependence on discounting. The Sunday Telegraph says the retailer is looking back to its rich heritage as it prepares a fresh push to revive the chain’s once formidable clothing line and stop the rot in the division.
Unilever boss Paul Polman is still in fighting mode after the Kraft Heinz battle, with an aim to make the UK a place where aggressive short-termism can’t win. In an interview with The Observer, Polman also defends the Unilever model: “I could boost Unilever shares. But cutting costs is not our way.”
Coca-Cola boss James Quincey gives his insights into why brands have to take a stand in The Monday Interview in The Financial Times.
Britons consumed a third of all the prosecco produced last year, more than any other country, as producers celebrated a bumper harvest (The Times). The Consortium for the Protection of Prosecco said that production has increased by 44.8% between 2014 and last year, resulting in 410.9 million bottles of the fizzy stuff.
Britain’s biggest retailers are more pessimistic about the prospects for the sector this year than in any time in the past five years as fears about Brexit and consumer confidence grow (The Times). A survey of the men and women chairing Britain’s top 50 retailers showed that 40% were pessimistic about the year ahead. Korn Ferry Institute, which carried out the survey, said that it reflected a 33% increase from last year.