The government is under growing pressure to overhaul the business rates system rather than just offer help for small firms affected by the revaluation of properties. Theresa May, the prime minister, and Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, told parliament on Wednesday that small businesses facing a sharp increase in their business rates bill from April could receive support in the budget next month. However, business leaders and MPs are now pushing the chancellor for a wider review of the controversial tax. (The Guardian)

Retailers are raising their prices at the fastest rate in six years and cutting staff in preparation for a slowdown on the high street in the wake of Brexit. The CBI’s monthly distributive trades survey found firms at their most pessimistic in nearly five years. They expect business to deteriorate over the next three months for the first time since 2012. (The Times £)

Cigarette maker British American Tobacco is planning a rapid expansion of its “vaping” business but has no immediate plans for further acquisitions after its $49bn deal to buy Reynolds American (The Financial Times £). British American Tobacco was among the first to move into the fast-growing e-cigarette and heat-not-burn markets and plans to expand beyond the 12 countries it currently operates in (The Times £). Cigarette maker British American Tobacco is pinning its hopes on vaping (The Daily Mail)

John Lewis is to axe 387 staff jobs under plans to revamp its cafes and restaurants as well as its curtain and carpet fitting services (The Telegraph). Freshly cooked fish and chips, shepherds pie and Thai prawn salad will soon be off the menu in John Lewis department stores as the worker-owned group announced plans yesterday to sack the chefs at its in-store restaurants (The Times £). John Lewis cafe staff get the chop as firm ditches its popular ‘home-cooked’ meals to buy in dishes from caterers (The Daily Mail). The cuts are the first sign of change since the department store’s managing director, Paula Nickolds, took the helm in late January (The Guardian)

In the latest salvo in the US razor wars, Procter & Gamble plans to sharply reduce prices of its Gillette-brand offerings, as it attempts to recoup the market share it lost to startup online rivals Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s. (The Financial Times £)

Genus has acquired the intellectual property rights of Irish pig genetics specialist Hermitage in a bid to expand its presence in Europe. (The Telegraph)

Retail Acquisitions, the company owned by former bankrupt Dominic Chappell has is planning to sue Sir Philip Green and his Arcadia Group for £14m in relation to the sale of BHS’s headquarters. (The Telegraph)

The Australian property group behind the Westfield London and Stratford City shopping centres gave Britain’s retail sector a post-Brexit referendum vote of confidence as it lifted its stake in the UK’s biggest owner of malls. (The Times £)

As US President Donald Trump reportedly voiced some of his strongest support yet for a border-adjustment tax — which is designed to boost exports — US companies that rely heavily on imports have seen their shares take a hit. Several major retailers saw their shares sink on Thursday afternoon after Reuters published an interview with Mr Trump discussing the proposal. (The Financial Times £