The uneven relationship between supermarkets and suppliers has come under increased scrutiny since the Tesco profit overstatement last September, but the grocers are not the only retailers turning the screw on their supply chain. B&Q is facing claims this morning that it threatened its suppliers by demanding they pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to stay on its books after demanding contributions for a Premier Foods-like “investment-for-growth” programme (The Times £).
Morrisons’ hiring of David Potts as CEO is still generating column inches, with The Telegraph’s Graham Ruddick penning an open letter advice to the supermarket’s new boss this morning. Ruddick suggests Potts keeps Sir Ken Morrison close, “but not too close”, remember that Morrisons doesn’t have the scale to fight toe-to-toe with Tesco and to forge its own identity. “For your own sake, progress needs to be made quickly,” he concludes (The Telegraph).
Elsewhere, the departure of two Tesco non-execs is well covered given that the departure of Liv Garfield and Jacqueline Tammenoms Bakker leaves just one woman on the Tesco board and “raises raise questions about presence of women in boardroom” (The Guardian).
British American Tobacco’s threat to sue the UK government over plain packaging is also in the papers. BAT’s director of corporate and regulatory affairs Jerome Abelman said: “If the government takes our property then we are entitled to compensation” (The Daily Mail).
The FT has a story that four out of five British cider makers face a rise in costs after the European Commission demanded that the UK stop its duty exemption for small-time producers of scrumpy and perry. Cider makers in the UK who produce less than 70 hectolitres — roughly 12,000 pints — do not currently have to pay excise duty (The Financial Times £).