A little less than two thirds of a key council of John Lewis Partnership employees backed a proposal last May to support chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield’s “leadership and the continuing progress of the partnership” in its first secret ballot in more than a decade, reports The Times (£). The decision to hold the secret ballot was revealed in the group’s annual report on Tuesday. The chairman earned £1.41m last year, down from £1.43m in 2016. He has refused a pay hike for the second consecutive year. He said the retail sector was experiencing huge change and “economic, societal and political uncertainty”.

The Daily Telegraph says his decision not to accept an increase was in light of the group’s efforts to improve the balance sheet and make investments at a time of challenge on high streets. The Daily Mail points out, however, that his hourly pay is still 68 times higher than the average shop-floor worker.

Walmart is on the verge of acquiring a majority holding in start-up online Indian retailer Flipkart, in a move that the Financial Times (£) says would pit the US giant against Amazon and reshape Indian retailing. The newspaper thinks a deal could be sealed within the next week. Lex says a purchase price valuing Flipkart as $20bn (£14.3bn), would be steep, but the chance for Walmart to hurt Amazon in Asia is priceless.

Coca-Cola has returned to quarterly sales growth in North America for the first time in eight years on the back of a redesign of its no-calorie cans with neon colours and introducing the likes of twisted mango and feisty cherry flavours to make its sodas more appetising to millennials, reports the Financial Times (£).

It beat first-quarter forecasts for revenues and profits. Revenues fell 16% year on year to $7.6bn as a result of a restructuring, the reports. Organic sales grew 5%, ahead of forecasts of 4%. Adjusted earnings grew to 47 cents a share in the first quarter, from 43 cents a year ago. This was better than Wall Street expectations of 46 cents.

The Times (£) says Coca-Cola warned that Britain’s new sugar tax would hit profits. It said it had changed recipes and packaging so that two thirds of its big brands would not be subject to the new levy.

The pensions watchdog has charged Humphrey Smith, chairman of Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster), with neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents without a reasonable excuse relating to the health of some of his staff pension funds, report The Times (£) and The Daily Telegraph.

Amazon has started offering Prime member a new Amazon Key In-Car service in 37 US cities for owners of 2015 or newer Volvo or General Motors (GM) vehicles that have GM’s OnStar or Volvo’s On Call connectivity services whereby it delivers direct to car boots, reports The Guardian. Sky News says “Amazon Key” also allows homeowners with WiFi-connected locks to unlock their front doors remotely to purchases can be left within. Reuters reports that Amazon is playing catch-up in Brazil as local rivals thrive. It is eyeing a major warehouse outside Sao Paulo, six years after entering Latin America’s largest economy.

An EU official who spoke on condition of anonymity has said the EU would be prepared to offer Britain a better trade deal than the one it gave Turkey if it decided to stay in the customs union after Brexit. It would also listen to UK views on trade policy, reports Bloomberg.

A slim gain for soyabean futures has helped the crop avoid its longest losing streak this year, says the Financial Times (£). Soyabeans, however, are still struggling against the broader backdrop about waning demand from China, it says.

Manchego makes and aficionados have vowed to fight an EU ruling that lets Mexican producers continue using the same name to describe their cheaper cow’s milk version of the cheese, The Guardian.

Shell is selling its petrol stations and lubricants business in Argentine to Raizen for £680m, reports The Daily Mail. Raizen is Shell’s joint venture in Brazil with Cosan.