Sainsbury’s has warned suppliers that they will be left to face the bill in the case of higher no-deal tariff costs. Commercial director Paul Mills-Hicks wrote to suppliers demanding confirmation that they will continue to serve the supermarket with delivery duty paid (DDP) - meaning that the supplier bears transport costs, including tariffs - regardless of a no-deal Brexit (The Times).
Poundland owner Pepkor Europe has renamed to Pepco and announced a growth strategy which will see it open around 300 news stores a year, as it seeks to become independent from its troubled South African owner Steinhoff. Debt-riddled Steinhoff is expected to either sell the discount retailer chain or float it to reduce its debt burden (Financial Times £).
Meanwhile, Poundland is also trying to slash rent costs as it renegotiates leases on almost 90% of its stores over the next five years. The discount retailer expects to save £20m through lower rents on its 840 stores, it claimed it will not reduce the number of stores it operates but might relocate to cheaper locations if it fails to secure lower rents (The Guardian).
Tesco is considering selling off its struggling Polish business, according to people familiar with the situation. The supermarket has already kicked off a review of its Polish arm, but the sale could still be called off (Bloomberg).
In an opinion piece, titled “Tesco has it tough enough already without a no-deal Brexit”, the Guardian argues that Tesco’s interim results, to be released on Wednesday, will be the perfect opportunity to analyse what the biggest UK supermarket is doing to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. With Tesco’s profits expected to rise 14% to £1.9bn this year, Brexit, and the uncertainty associated with it, poses the biggest risk for the retailer, the newspaper argues (The Guardian).
The FT as an opinion piece analysing the value of vaping to combat cigarettes smoking and calling for regulation around the use of e-cigarettes to be based on science and not on “public fear” (Financial Times £).
In another opinion piece on vaping, The Daily Telegraph argues that the millions spent by tobacco companies on e-cigarette advertising and promotion could soon be hailed as a cautionary tale, after a US ban on flavoured e-cigarettes wiped off billions from the market cap of the biggest tobacco giants (Daily Telegraph).
Meanwhile, professor Stanton Glantz, director of the Centre for Tobacco Research Control & Education in San Francisco, warned that the cases of lung disease caused by vaping – which has led to several deaths and illnesses in the US - could spread to the UK and worldwide. However, Public Health England said the crisis in the US was associated with the vaping of cannabis oils, sometimes with vitamin E acetate which is prohibited in the UK. The agency has not issued a health alert as it believes that the “evidence on the causes of the cases in the US is not yet conclusive” (The Guardian).
Domino’s Pizza has hired headhunters to find a suitable replacement for chairman Stephen Hemsley who has been with the company for over 20 years. The new chairman appointment will be the first of a board overhaul at the FTSE 250 pizza company, with CEO David Wild also due to step down ahead of the firm’s next AGM in April (The Times).
Sushi chain Itsu made a loss of £6m last year despite reporting a 10% sales growth to £116.6m. It blamed costs associated with its US and France expansion plans for the losses (The Times).
Almost 60k retail jobs have been lost in the UK over the past year, with women most affected. Calling for action to help the struggling high streets, the BRC claims that 57k jobs were lost in the year to June among retailers, despite most of the affected staff members finding a replacement job (The Financial Times £).
Shares in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Asia-Pacific unit rose almost 7% in their Hong Kong trading debut, after a revived IPO which raised $5bn (The Financial Times £).
Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut unveiled a new chocolate recipe which uses the entire cacao fruit, instead of just the beans, reducing waste and “packing a more fruity punch” in the flavour. The so-called WholeFruit chocolate is the latest invention in the category after the luxurious Ruby variation (The Guardian).
Home improvement retailer Kingfisher has hired former Carrefour executive Alain Rabec to lead its struggling French unit - including Castorama and Brio Dépôt (Financial Times £).