More than 100,000 former and present workers from Boots and the Co-op Group saw responsibility for their promised pensions switched from their employer to a life assurance company yesterday in a mammoth day for pension risk transfer deals (The Times £).
Walgreens Boots Alliance said it has agreed to hand responsibility of its defined benefit pension scheme, one of the biggest in Britain with 43,000 members, to Legal & General (Telegraph £).
The High Street chemist was put up for sale with a £7bn price tag last year but US owner Walgreens Boots Alliance backtracked a few months later (The Mail).
The Lex column in Financial Times (£) says that Boots is now “one step closer to the block” after the transfer of pension obligations fixed one of the parent company’s problems.
Food bills in the UK have risen by £605 a year for the average household because of the effects of climate breakdown, according to research. Floods and droughts, which scientists have said were probably exacerbated by global heating, have reduced crop yields over the past two years, said nonprofit organisation the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (The Guardian).
Supermarkets are at risk of British beef and lamb shortages as hard-up farmers face a drop-off in subsidy payments (Telegraph £). A fall in subsidies post-Brexit combined with increasing cost pressures has led to some farmers reducing the numbers of cows and lambs they own, which they say could fuel a shortfall in high-quality homegrown meat.
Marks & Spencer’s credit rating has been upgraded from “junk” to “investment grade” as the high street stalwart’s turnaround propels it back into the ranks of Britain’s top flight companies (The Sunday Times £).
Diageo’s destocking hangover has put new chief Debra Crew under pressure, writes Financial Times (£). “Recent profit warning brings back memories of stockpiling issues as group adjusts to end of pandemic drinking boom.”
Business leaders are sounding the alarm that the 10% increase in the minimum wage announced in last week’s autumn statement will substantially drive up their costs and undermine efforts to reduce inflation (The Sunday Times £).
Rishi Sunak will trumpet £29.5bn of new investment commitments in Britain as global chief executives and investors gather today at a government investment summit at Hampton Court Palace (The Times £).
Britain’s economy could receive a £149bn boost from a change to UK business laws that would ensure companies put social, economic and environmental benefits at the heart of their decision-making, according to a report (The Guardian).
Women hold just one in five commercial roles on the boards of Britain’s 350 largest listed companies, according to research that suggests firms have blind spots and operate at “various levels of consciousness” when it comes to senior female staff (The Guardian).
UK retailers increase Black Friday discounts while customers cut spending (Financial Times £). “Shops are having to work harder to tempt customers, who are proving savvy about bargains.”
Shoppers took to their laptops and flocked to high streets on Black Friday in what is expected to be one of the busiest retail days of 2023 – but early indications are that this will be a more muted affair compared with previous years (The Guardian).
Households felt more positive about their finances this month in a boost for High Street shops in the run up to Christmas as a closely watched survey showed consumer confidence strengthened in November (Mail).
Telegraph (£) reckons luxury stores in the UK are on course for a festive washout as wealthier visitors still come to the capital, but VAT means they do their shopping in Paris.
US online shopping hit record highs on Thanksgiving Day and is expected to surge through the holiday weekend, as Black Friday sales fuel bumper consumer spending in the world’s biggest economy (The Financial Times £).
Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of coffee and cocoa stored in EU warehouses risk being destroyed as an unforeseen consequence of the bloc’s deforestation law, which came into force in June this year (Financial Times £).
The logistics sector is delivering a jobs boom (The Times £). The sector best known for its lorries and warehouses is on course to become Britain’s biggest employer — and it can be a route to a highly paid career, writes the paper.
The Sunday Times (£) shares tipster column recommended buying Tesco as the “flames of inflation look, finally, to be cooling”.
The Midas share column in Mail tipped meat processor Cranswick after first recommending the stock back in 2007.
A separate Midas shares column in Mail also tipped logistics firm Wincanton. “Prospects are bright and the shares are cheap,” the paper says.