Shop prices fell last month at their fastest rate in 14 years as retailers made cuts to shift stock and grocers were forced to compete with home-grown produce (The Times £). British retailers struggling during the coronavirus pandemic have cut their prices by the most in a month since 2006, according to industry figures revealing the scale of the economic fallout (The Guardian). Clothing and furniture retailers were among those discounting heavily in an effort to attract shoppers and survive the coronavirus crisis (Sky News).
The shake-up of Tesco’s top management continued on Tuesday after the UK’s biggest retailer said its finance director would step down next April, just over six months after chief executive Dave Lewis departs (The Financial Times £). The latest change at the top of Tesco appeared to catch the City by surprise as its share price fell back (The Times £). Stewart has helped oversee massive cost-cutting measures and the sale of numerous Tesco assets to help improve the FTSE 100 firm’s finances (The Daily Mail).
What next for Tesco after its changing of the guard, asks The Telegraph? The supermarket is parting ways with both its chief executive Dave Lewis and its finance chief. (The Telegraph)
Banks have lent more than £30bn to 745,000 businesses under emergency schemes – but hundreds of thousands are still missing out (The Daily Mail). Government-backed loans to support virus-hit businesses top £31bn driven by a steady rise in claims under the so-called furlough scheme and a further leap in so-called bounce back loans (Sky News).
Company directors fear that debt taken on to get their businesses through the lockdown will hold back their recovery and affect future investment. (The Times £)
The Business Growth Fund, a private equity fund backed by five of Britain’s biggest banks is seeking up to £7.5 billion from the government to back medium-sized businesses needing capital because of the pandemic. (The Times £)
SSP Group will announce this week that it is asking shareholders who are in line to receive the payment to return it to the company in the form of a new equity injection. (Sky News)
The owner of Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel’s is set to tell staff that a “large number” of its outlets will not reopen after lockdown. (The BBC)
Hotels, pubs and restaurants face having to reopen under onerous social-distancing rules with strict limits on the number of customers and tables spaced at least two metres apart under proposals set out by the government. (The Financial Times £)
A survey from Lakeside Centre owner Intu Properties has found that shoppers want significant protective measures in place before they return to stores. (The Daily Mail)
More than half Oddbins branches will remain open after an unknown suitor bought them out of administration. Advisors Duff & Phelps said the deal was signed “despite the current financial situation” and 28 sites have been sold. (The Telegraph)
UK farmers face brutal test ahead of Brexit, writes the FT. The pandemic has exposed tensions over food security that are now playing out in the UK- EU trade talks. (The Financial Times £)
Intu Properties has laid bare its cash forecasts for the next 18 months in an attempt to persuade lenders that it can survive if they agree to waive its debt obligations (The Times £).
Hammerson shares roared higher again yesterday as the hedge funds that had bet against the retail landlord scrambled to cover their short positions. (The Times £)
The UK’s National Lottery operator has warned that the looming recession is likely to hit sales, which would result in a fall in the amount of money distributed to charities and good causes (The Financial Times £). The odds of winning the Lotto jackpot may be a highly unlikely 1 in 45 million, but Camelot’s chances of winning the next National Lottery licence have improved after record sales of £7.9bn (The Times £).