The £14.1billion Sainsbury’s-Asda merger will push up prices at smaller retailers, industry experts have warned, writes The Daily Mail. The Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD), which represents food-and-drink firms, claimed suppliers would be squeezed by the deal which would create Britain’s biggest supermarket.
‘The sun is finally shining on the British high street’ says the Times, reporting the BRC and KPMG retail sales report for May. The Guardian writes that retailers had one of their best months in recent years as good weather and the royal wedding tempted consumers into shops.
The FSA has withdrawn the emergency measures imposed on 2 Sisters Food Group after six months of the regulator’s inspectors working full time inside the poultry cutting plants at the supermarket supplier, reports The Guardian.
The Times (£) includes a feature on Middlesbrough-born Walmart executive Judith McKenna who is says is tipped to take the top job someday. In the interview, the chief executive of the US company said the company is unlikely to expand internationally “in bricks and mortar” but is “looking very hard and very thoughtfully at the shape of international in the future”, highlighted by its deal with Flipkart.
Walmart has sold a majority stake in its Brazilian business at an estimated $4.5bn loss, marking the latest step in a strategic shift towards being an investor rather than operator internationally, reports the FT.
Alex Brummer in The Mail writes that Walmart is now in retreat from its ambition to be the world’s top grocer as it sells international assets. He says “it has flipped China, plans to put Sainsbury’s in control of Asda in Britain and has now sold its Brazilian operation to private equity group Advent, taking a £3.4billion loss”, with focus now turning to technology following its Flipkart deal.
The Daily Mail reports that two Ocado executives have sold millions of pounds worth of shares having seen the value of the company almost treble in just six months. Neill Abrams, Ocado’s in-house lawyer, sold 1m shares, earning him almost £8.1m and chief operating officer Mark Richardson pocketed £6.2million after selling nearly 900,000 shares.
Upmarket grocer Waitrose plans to offer shoppers in-store health checks by teaming up with private healthcare company Bupa to provide healthcare assessments and advice across 17 stores, writes The Telegraph.
Howard Schultz is stepping down as executive chairman of Starbucks, marking the end of a 36-year run in which he transformed the Seattle company into the world’s largest coffee chain — and fuelling speculation that he might run for US president in 2020, writes the Financial Times.
Mothercare could be forced to axe an extra 300 staff after it was revealed that creditors had blocked part of its restructuring plan following a recount of the votes (The Telegraph).