With the papers fixated on the future of the governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, grocery news was relatively limited over the weekend.
One item that did hit the headlines were the long queues at Asda check-outs after customers across the UK were unable to pay with their cards (Sky News).
Asda has apologised to customers after a problem with its card machines led to long queues at checkouts across the country. People posted photos of cashiers using old-fashioned card-readers, while others said stores were only accepting cash (The Guardian). The company earlier tweeted that the majority of its stores were “back up and working” but advised customers to check if this applied to their branch. (The BBC)
Majestic Wine is to sweep away the last vestiges of its 12-bottle minimum purchase rule by scrapping the requirement for customers ordering online to buy at least six bottles. In an attempt to modernise its retailing, the company will also announce on Monday the launch of a next-day delivery service for its full range of 1,250 wines and introduce a “no-quibble” returns policy. (The Times £)
Optimism generated by the £79bn takeover of SABMiller, completed this month, was quickly overshadowed as Anheuser-Busch InBev reported one of the worst quarters of trading in memory on Friday. The brewer behind brands including Budweiser, Beck’s and Stella Artois was yesterday forced to revise full-year forecasts sharply lower following a surprise slump in trading in Brazil, its second-biggest market after the US. (The Times £)
Brewery giant Anheuser-Busch InBev’s earnings have stuttered on the back of a downturn in Brazil, amid hopes that its £79bn takeover of British rival SABMiller will give it access to more lucrative beer markets. (The Telegraph)
The UK’s restaurant industry has emerged as a clear winner in Britain’s shift away from spending on foreign holidays and towards local restaurants and leisure activities. (The Telegraph)
The biggest investor in Stock Spirits has accused the listed distiller of paying its board directors too much and of failing to respond publicly to questions about its corporate governance. Western Gate Investments, the vehicle of Luís Amaral, the Portuguese cash-and-carry tycoon, said that it estimated Stock Spirits’ board of nine directors was costing the distiller about £1.36m a year. (The Times £)
Business optimism has soared to a new high since the Brexit referendum, in a fresh blow to backers of the Project Fear campaign, claims The Daily Mail. A survey by Lloyds bank reveals that overall corporate confidence jumped 13 points in October. Meanwhile, one of Britain’s top investors has said markets will not face a delayed slump as some have predicted. (The Daily Mail)
UK exporters are seeking assurances over post-Brexit future, writes The Financial Times (£). Exporters welcomed the planned new investment in Heathrow last week, but improved transport infrastructure only one item on UK businesses’ long wishlist.
Multinationals ignore India’s bottom billion at their peril, advises The FT. However, small food suppliers’ ability to deal directly with faraway customers through online platforms means India might even “miss the processed food revolution altogether”, speculates Rama Bijapurkar, who advises companies on the consumer economy. (The Financial Times £)
The Times (£) writes that British American Tobacco’s efforts to buy Reynolds America will be a “a lucky strike” for the tobacco giant. It writes: “Analysts warn the deal would expose the British company to huge litigation risks from American smokers. That is true, but the risks are much lower than a decade ago when BAT sold its US business.”
China’s biggest listed winemaker is preparing to ramp up imports from Spain, France and other European countries amid expectations that wine consumption in the world’s second-largest economy will continue to grow at a blistering pace. (The Financial Times £)
The Financial Times (£) interviews new Henkel chief Hans Van Bylen, who has a renewed focus on growth and aims to exploit opportunities offered by digitalisation.