Fortnum & Mason has said sales of its monogrammed hampers have risen by 20% this Christmas despite fierce competition from a cheaper rival. Last month, Aldi raised eyebrows with the launch of its “Exquisite” hampers filled with Christmas puddings, truffles and chocolates in mint green packaging, the colour the Fortnum’s brand is most associated with, and selling for less than £100. (The Guardian)

The company, which has steered around from being a tourist destination to the having 60pc of shoppers coming from the UK, has posted a 12pc rise in sales to £98.7m and profits of £6.2m for the year to July 10. Fortnum & Mason’s online business has doubled in the past three years and has grown by close to a quarter since the previous year, shipping its famous teas, chocolates and preserves to 2m customers across 128 countries (The Telegraph). Fortnum & Mason is set to increase their prices in 2017 as a result of the fall in the value of sterling. As the upmarket British retailer released full-year results showing a 27% rise in profits, Ewan Venters said the rising costs associated with currency fluctuations meant that price inflation was inevitable. (Sky News)

It may have been introduced to Britain to give the high street the sort of trading boost enjoyed by America’s shopping malls over Thanksgiving, but it was online retailers that enjoyed the biggest boost from Black Friday (The Times £). A record one in four pounds was spent online during last month’s Black Friday discounting drive, according to fresh figures from the British Retail Consortium (The Telegraph)

The weekly shop is still getting cheaper as prices in the shops fell for the 43rd consecutive month in November. However, deflation could be coming to an end as the decline in food prices slowed sharply last month. (The Telegraph)

Marks & Spencer could be forced to stump up at least another £500million to fund its latest reorganisation plans, according to leading stockbroker Investec. The money will be needed to close UK and international stores over the next five years as the company reshapes its business to focus on food and its more profitable sites. (The Daily Mail)

British American Tobacco’s takeover of Reynolds American is poised to move a step closer when the FTSE 100 cigarette maker sweetens its $47 billion offer for the maker of Camel and Newport cigarettes. The Dunhill and Lucky Strike owner owns 42.2% of Reynolds and in October announced an offer to buy the rest of America’s second-biggest tobacco group, which was rebuffed. (The Times £)

“Drinks companies cut sugar content as tax looms”, writes The Financial Times (£). Coca-Cola and Lucozade Ribena react to draft sugar tax legislation in the UK aimed at fighting obesity. The cost of a can of cola, lemonade or Red Bull is likely to rise by about 8p, while a two-litre bottle of any high-sugar soft drink will go up by 48p once the government’s sugar levy comes into force. (The Guardian)

Cakes and muffins on sale at popular UK coffee chains are loaded with sugar, according to an analysis by a health campaign group. Action on Sugar collected data for supermarket and coffee shop products where nutritional information was available per 100g or per portion. Across each of the three cake varieties supermarkets offered healthier options compared with those sold in cafes – demonstrating that manufacturers can make cakes with less calories and sugar, partly through smaller portion sizes. (The Guardian)

Amazon has opened a corner store where customers can pick up their groceries and just walk out without having to queue up and pay at the checkout. The company said shoppers at its Amazon Go store will have the cost of their purchases automatically billed to their Amazon Prime account. Sensors will track customers as they go about the store and record items they pick up. (The Guardian) Amazon has revealed plans for a grocery shop without a checkout process, where customers will instead pay for the goods they have selected via an app. (The BBC)

A row over fees has broken out between the fund responsible for saving BHS pensioners and one of the store’s administrators. The Pension Protection Fund has vetoed an invoice for £4.1m submitted by Duff & Phelps, which was responsible for realising cash from the assets of BHS. Duff & Phelps is trying to settle the dispute over its fee for seven months’ work, which is far higher than its estimate of £3.5m. (The Daily Mail)

A surge in sales at City Pub Company has helped dampen fears of a slowdown in the pub sector ahead of its planned listing on London’s junior market next year. (The Telegraph)