Amazon has begun searching for high street locations in prime areas of central London ahead of the potential launch of a checkout-free grocery chain later this year. The move suggests it is stepping up plans to bring futuristic convenience stores to Britain. The online retail giant is testing its first Amazon Go store near its base in Seattle, where the firm’s employees are able to buy goods without queuing at a till. (The Times £)

Booker bosses will launch a charm offensive this week in an attempt to convince Britain’s shopkeepers of the merits of its shock £3.7bn Tesco merger, amid rising concerns that the deal will strangle competition in the convenience store market. Booker chief executive Charles Wilson and managing director Steve Fox will begin by addressing thousands of Premier convenience franchise owners at Newbury Racecourse next Wednesday as part of a tour of the UK. (The Telegraph)

The Guardian talks of the “war of convenience” as supermarket chains take on small stores. “Independent shopkeepers fear Tesco’s deal with Booker will force them out of the picture altogether,” it writes. (The Guardian)

Tesco has rejected a £170m claim by a group of shareholders and denied allegations there was pressure on its staff to achieve profit targets by ‘dishonest means’. The supermarket group is facing legal claims from investors after the accounting scandal of 2014. In its latest defence, filed at the High Court by Tesco, the group rejected responsibility for any losses suffered the investors. (The Daily Mail)

Aldi is poised to overtake the Co-op this week to become Britain’s fifth largest grocer. It is a big step for the German discount retailer, putting it next in size to the so-called ‘Big Four’ supermarkets. (The Daily Mail)

New business rates that will apply from April will skew competition further in favour of online retailers at the cost of high street shops, according to new research. The typical London shop is facing a 14% rise in rates, while online retailers operating from out-of-town warehouses will only pay an extra 2%, according to analysis by CVS, a business rates and rent consultancy. (The Financial Times £)

The Guardian carries a column arguing that “small shops like my own will die unless Britain’s outrageous business rates are reformed. (The Guardian)

Carlsberg is set to report its third year in a row of falling profits amid tough trading across Europe, although the worst should be behind it. Analysts forecast a fall in reported revenues, operating profits and earnings for the Danish brewer as weak currencies offset a modest improvement in sales. (The Times £)

The Campaign for Real Ale is stepping up its push to keep the price of a pint down for millions of UK pub-goers, calling on the Treasury to reduce beer duty by 1p a pint in next month’s budget. (The Guardian)

The battle for Britain’s poshest tonic is fizzing up as Fentimans prepares to take on Fever-Tree with a range of upmarket mixers. Fentimans, which is best known for botanical soft drinks such as ginger beer and cola, is making a £1m investment in production to boost sales of mixers for alcoholic drinks. (The Daily Mail)

Liberum recommends buying Reckitt Benckiser shares after they surged last week on news that it was in talks to acquire US baby formula maker Mead Johnson for £13bn. Analysts said investors had been waiting for Reckitt Benckiser, which owns Nurofen and Dettol, to execute a big deal. (The Daily Mail)

More than half of companies expect to have to raise prices over the next 12 months after the slump in sterling since the Brexit vote, according to a survey by the British Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, about the same proportion said currency was having a negative impact on their profitability. (Sky News, The BBC)

The manufacturing industry is at its most optimistic in almost two years as business confidence picks up across the economy, according to surveys. A monthly business trends report from BDO, the accounting firm, and a quarterly business confidence monitor from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales both show companies becoming more upbeat about their prospects. (The Times £)

“Made-up men reflect changing $50bn male grooming industry”, writes the FT, noting the growth of the male make-up market as consumer goods companies from L’Oréal and Coty to Unilever see value in diversity. (The Financial Times £)