East of England Co-op will become the first major retailer to sell food beyond its “best before” dates. The chain’s 125 stores in East Anglia will sell dried foods and tinned products for just 10p in a bid to cut food waste (The BBC). The move forms part of the chain’s The Co-op Guide to Dating, and runs with the slogan: “Don’t be a binner. Have it for dinner!” (Sky News). It is the first time a major UK food retailer has begun selling food outside its best before date and it is thought others might follow The scheme does not include any products with a ‘Use By’ date, including meat, fish and dairy (The Telegraph).
Two of the world’s biggest tobacco companies have killed off hopes of a rescue deal for the collapsed wholesaler Palmer & Harvey. Japan Tobacco International and Imperial have already moved their business to DHL, the German-owned logistics giant to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of cigarettes to Tesco and Sainsbury’s. (The Times £)
As first revealed in The Grocer’s coverage of Palmer & Harvey’s collapse, P&H paid out nearly £77 million in dividends to a select group of executives and managers in the decade after the failed grocer’s debt-laden management buyout (The Times £, The Telegraph, The Guardian).
Amazon has tightened its grip on the UK retail market by taking more than five times as much new warehousing space this year as the next fastest growing rival. (The Telegraph)
Simply Fresh, the fast-growing convenience store group, is opening 50 new shops in universities and hospitals as part of a tie-up with catering giant Compass. The deal is set to triple the size of Simply Fresh. (The Times £)
The chief executive of Chapel Down, an official wine supplier to 10 Downing Street, has said Britons will “starve” if the door is closed to foreign fruit pickers after Brexit. England’s biggest winemaker, based in Kent, relies on EU workers to pick grapes for its drinks, which also include beer, cider and gin. (The Guardian)
Stores giant Marks & Spencer may abandon dozens of building projects across the country worth hundreds of millions pounds, according to property sources. The developments include shopping malls, town centre regeneration projects and the construction of accommodation to help ease chronic housing shortages. (The Daily Mail)
An average of six shops a day have been lost in England and Wales over the past seven years, an analysis of government data has found. Between 2010 and 2017, the lifespan of the last business rates regime, 15,856 shops were either demolished or converted into homes or other uses as retailers struggled to cope with the popularity of online commerce. (The Times £)
Unilever CEO Paul Polman gives an interview to the FT focussing on “how I fended off a hostile takeover bid”. (The Financial Times £)
The FT carries an article on Ocado and its investment in technology, looking at how online grocer is “reinventing itself as a technology company”. (The Financial Times £)
Itsu (and Pret) founder Julian Metcalfe is interviewed in the Mail on Sunday on what drives his expansion to the US. (The Daily Mail)
Can the likes of Café Rouge and Pizza Express survive the death of a thousands cut-price offers? Restaurants started the trend of heavy discounting, now the rest of the high street is joining in, but can all retailers survive this price war? (The Times £)
Restaurant chain Giraffe fell to a £5.2m loss in the year to January, following its sale to Ranjit “Chicken King” Boparan. The loss-making chain cut the deficit from £8m in the previous 12 months, according to accounts filed at Companies House. (The Times £)
The Times (£) looks at the elevation of Just Eat to the FTSE 100, writing: “Just Eat’s inexorable rise into the index has been achieved despite persistent scepticism over its valuation since it floated on an eye-watering multiple of 100 times its underlying earnings.” (The Times £)
CVS Health, America’s biggest drugstore chain, has agreed to acquire the healthcare insurer Aetna for about $69bn, in a deal that will create a new giant in the prescription drugs industry and is likely to spark further consolidation in the sector (The Financial Times £). The move could help fuel a push by CVS to become more of a one-stop-shop for healthcare, a place where patients can get blood drawn, see a nurse practitioner and pick up prescriptions (The Guardian).