Mike Coupe, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, is expected to come out fighting at the company’s full-year results later this week, having secured the backing of the board after the collapse of his plan to buy rival Asda (The Financial Times £). Sainsbury’s is poised to report falling sales as the supermarket giant faces questions about its future after regulators blocked its £14bn merger with Asda (The Times £). Sainsbury’s bosses are scrambling this weekend to put the finishing touches to a revival of the supermarket after a failed £10bn merger with Asda (The Telegraph). Sainsbury’s is expected to launch a back-to-basics campaign to win back its reputation as a quality and convenience-led supermarket group after the collapse of its plan to merge with Asda (The Times £). Sainsbury’s botched merger with Asda has been a major distraction and left the supermarket in its worst position strategically ‘for at least a decade’, an expert on the group has said (The Daily Mail).
Ocado said a robot catching fire was to blame for the blaze that caused serious damage to its automated Hampshire warehouse in February this year (The Financial Times £). The fire that destroyed an Ocado warehouse this year and hit the online grocer’s sales was sparked by an electrical fault causing a plastic lid on a robot to catch alight (The Times £).
Anger at the ‘extraordinary’ bonuses being dished out to Britain’s top bosses is set to boil over at a string of annual meetings at firms including Ocado over the next fortnight. (The Daily Mail)
A craft beer company that has raised more than £1.5m from crowdfunding investors has had its brewery seized by the landlord, been chased for an unpaid debt and delayed its accounts. Hop Stuff, based in Woolwich, southeast London, fell behind with its rent after issues with the taxman. (The Times £)
The chairman of the John Lewis Partnership has opted to pocket the group’s bonus for the first time in three years. Along with all other staff, Sir Charlie Mayfield, who is leaving the retailer next year, will be trousering this year’s 3% partnership bonus on top of his annual pay packet. (The Daily Mail)
Just Eat reported its lowest rate of order growth in Britain since flotation five years ago as the February heatwave and the timing of Easter took the steam out of its first-quarter performance (The Times £). Just Eat shares melt after the fast-food firm blames warm winter weather for a slowdown in UK orders (The Daily Mail).
The market for UK shopping centres has all but frozen up as buyers struggle to assign values to properties affected by troubled retailers restructuring their leases. The FT says that just £20m of shopping centres changed hands in the first quarter of this year, according to data from CoStar, against a 10-year quarterly average of £783m. (The Financial Times £)
The retail crisis is becoming landlords’ problem as demands for rent cuts pile up, writes The Guardian. As the shutters go down on more and more shops, the commercial property sector is being backed into a corner.
Wall Street is going vegan. At some point in the next four weeks, Beyond Meat, a pioneering plant-based meat alternative startup, will debut on Wall Street at a valuation of about $1.2bn. And in the meantime its rivals are cutting deals with some of the biggest names in food. (The Guardian)
Food ingredients maker Tate & Lyle is on the hunt for acquisitions as it seeks to expand the part of its business that helps big food companies reformulate their products to reduce sugar, salt, and fat. (The Financial Times £)