Old Mutual, the third largest shareholder in Home Retail Group, has issued its support for Sainsbury’s £1.3bn takeover despite previously calling for a higher price. The firm said that it now regarded the possible offer “to be fair, taking into account the acceleration of the Argos transformation plan within Sainsbury’s”. (The Telegraph)

Previously, Richard Buxton of Old Mutual said of a bid that it must “start with a two in front of it”. An offer worth 200p a share would have valued Home Retail at £1.63bn, compared to the £1.3bn in cash and shares offered by Sainsbury’s. (The Guardian)

Scottish retail sales contracted during the final quarter of last year, suggesting few signs of festive cheer for high street traders. As a result of the 0.3% fall, there was an annual 0.9% decline, according to official figures. British retail sales grew by 0.1% over the year and by 0.1% in the three months to the end of December. (The Times £)

The no-frills grocery store opened by easyJet founder Sir Stelio Haji-Ioannou has been forced to close for the day while it restocks after selling out. The easyFoodstore in north-west London was swamped by people attracted by its introductory price of 25p on every item (The Telegraph). It is expected to reopen on Friday morning after it has re-stocked the shelves. A spokesman said: “The level of interest has been completely overwhelming. The last people through the door today had travelled up from Canterbury”. (The Guardian)

“Amazon and easyFood have shaken up our shopping,” writes Ashley Armstrong in The Telegraph. She says the retail market is now “facing a wave of consolidation and polarisation”. (The Telegraph)

Writing in the Evening Standard last night, Anthony Hilton says the Tesco supplier payments affair also raises a number of questions for suppliers themselves. “If Tesco’s accounts were wrong because they were manipulating supplier payments, it implies that the accounts of the business on the other side of the deal — the supplier — must have been wrong too.” (The Evening Standard)

Mondelez has warned investors that it is braced for a further deterioration in economic conditions in emerging markets, as the maker of Oreos and Ritz biscuits gave a cautious outlook for the year. (The Financial Times £)

Graham’s The Family Dairy is to supply Starbucks with cream and milk in all its Scottish outlets, making the Bridge of Allan company the exclusive supplier to 68 coffee shops. (The Times £)

Superdrug is to join high street rival Boots with a review of “sexist pricing” in its stores after it said it would examine any “disparity based on gender” and where necessary change the prices of products aimed at women. (The Financial Times £)