John Lewis will turn over a new leaf this week when its new boss, Dame Sharon White, formally takes the throne at the troubled retail group (The Guardian). Dame Sharon White will be formally sworn in as boss of struggling retailer John Lewis in front of 200 members of staff, at one of the most uncertain points in the company’s 91-year history (The Telegraph).
Dame Sharon White faces a ‘mammoth task’ to breathe new life into the John Lewis Partnership when she becomes boss this week, according to industry experts. (The Daily Mail)
Sir Charlie Mayfield’s 20-year career at the owner of John Lewis and Waitrose is ending in bitterness and recrimination. This week the former McKinsey consultant is due to hand over what has become one of the biggest corporate messes in recent memory to Dame Sharon White (The Times £).
Unilever’s tea business could sell for as much as €8bn, according to analyst estimates. The division, which includes PG Tips and Lipton and brought in close to €3bn in sales last year, has been put under strategic review by Unilever as it struggles to turn around falling sales of black tea. (The Telegraph)
Besieged Unilever chief Alan Jope serves tea for the predators, writes The Times (£). “There is some logic to Jope’s disposal spree. Increasingly fickle and environmentally aware consumers are turning away from once-loved brands, enticed by guerilla marketing campaigns on social media and a growing trend for locally produced and ethical goods.” (The Times £)
As Unilever puts its tea division up for review, the FT looks at the decline of the traditional. In the UK, US and Russia, retail sales volumes of black tea dropped by at least 10 per cent in the five years to 2019 - British drinkers are among the top three countries in the world by consumption per head. But that centuries-old enthusiasm is waning. (The Financial Times £)
A pasta delivery service backed by the Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has raised £3.5m. Pasta Evangelists, which delivers fresh pasta meals and sauces in letterbox-sized parcels, also counts the Times restaurant critic Giles Coren and food critic William Sitwell among its investors. (The Times £)
People may be able to take out money from the tills of thousands of corner shops across the country as part of a drive by the government to ensure nationwide access to cash. (The Times £)
Britvic has suffered a shareholder revolt over concerns that some of its independent directors have too many jobs to concentrate on the soft drinks maker. (The Times £)
Hundreds of companies due to receive business rates relief will have their discount delayed because of a problem with local councils’ IT software. (The Times £)
Amazon sales soared over the Christmas season, rising 21% from the previous year, in sharp contrast to weakness reported by other retailers (The BBC). Amazon has launched a search for new office space in London in a show of confidence in the city’s ability to retain creative talent after Brexit (The Times £).
Paris puts alcohol-free drinks at the centre of cocktail week – spirits industry leaders and new brands are chasing a new premium market. (The Financial Times £)
Products from no-alcohol prosecco to gluten-free pizza are increasingly at the centre of trademark disputes as companies step up efforts to woo health-conscious consumers. (The Financial Times £)
Kitopi, a Middle Eastern start-up that provides staff and technology to so-called cloud kitchens, has raised $60m in new funding as investors look for new ways to tap the fast-growing but capital-intensive market for online food delivery. (The Financial Times £)