The supermarket giants will reveal underwhelming Christmas sales figures this week, as the relentless pressure from discount rivals Aldi and Lidl continues to cast a shadow over the sector. (The Times £)

Tesco led the pack of supermarket giants during a sluggish Christmas period that saw deep price cuts and some shops left deserted. Britain’s largest grocer may even have increased its sales in a lacklustre December, leaving some of its main rivals in the shade, according to City predictions. (The Daily Mail)

The online US import Black Friday certainly cast a big shadow over the shops in the run-up to Christmas 2019, and next week we will start to see how some of the high street’s biggest names, from Marks & Spencer to John Lewis and Tesco, traded their way through a choppy landscape of clothing discounts and food discounters. (The Guardian) is set to clinch a £6bn acquisition of Just Eat this week after seeing off a rival suitor for the FTSE 100 food delivery group. (The Times £)

Compass is set to launch the search for a new chairman as Paul Walsh prepares to leave the contract catering business earlier than some had expected (The Times £). Compass Group, the FTSE-100 caterer, is to kick off the search for a new chair as one of Britain’s most prominent businessmen prepares to step down from the job (Sky News).

M&S break-up chatter lingers as it pins hopes on Ocado deal, writes The Telegraph. “Rowe and Norman played down suggestions that an imminent break up of its two arms, food and clothing, was on the cards. It was, however, preceded by “nothing is forever” at a meeting with journalists, leaving room for an eventual split.” (The Telegraph)

Dame Sharon White takes over at a turbulent time at John Lewis Partnership, writes The Times. “Department stores are facing an existential crisis from the cultural shift to online shopping that has dragged Debenhams and House of Fraser, two of John Lewis’s greatest high street rivals, to their knees, while Waitrose is watching middle-class customers head to discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl.” (The Times £)

Producers of food and drink have cemented their place as Britain’s biggest single manufacturing sector, with an annual value of £85.6bn to the UK economy. (The Telegraph)

Burger King has launched its first plant-based burger in the UK, but it is not suitable for vegans because of the way it is cooked (The Guardian). Burger King is launching a plant-based version of its Whopper in the UK that vegetarians and vegans will not be able to enjoy (Sky News).

Lidl is to remove cartoon characters from its own-brand cereal ranges to help parents resist pester power and tackle Britain’s growing childhood obesity crisis (The Guardian). Lidl has vowed to remove cartoon characters from its own-brand cereal boxes in Britain by the spring (Sky News).

A popular but controversial restructuring tool used by struggling retailers to stave off closure is, more often than not, simply putting off the inevitable, a new analysis suggests. Of 23 large company voluntary arrangements entered into by businesses since 2016, 13 of those companies have since gone into administration, according to Colliers (The Times £).

The boss of Hotel Chocolat said the high rents his company faces are a ‘penalty for being successful’. Co-founder Angus Thirlwell has opened fire on controversial insolvency arrangements, so-called Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) that allow struggling firms to close shops and cut rents. (The Daily Mail)

A former Tesco executive has been appointed as interim finance chief of Marks & Spencer after the previous holder of the job left following a botched rights issue. (The Times £)

More than 30 restaurant workers in the UK lost their jobs every day last year as closures swept through the industry. (The Daily Mail)

Restaurant chains find sustenance in supermarket ranges, writes The FT. Successful food lines help bolster likes of PizzaExpress against high street woes. (The Financial Times £)

Crêpes may be as French as tarte tatin, but the charge to create the world’s first international chain of crêperies is being led by a British company founded by a Dutchman. (The Times £)

The pressure for millennials to have a new outfit for every social media post is fuelling the growth of “serial returners”, shoppers who constantly buy far more than they intend to keep and then return the bulk of their purchases for a full refund. (The Times £)

Total gift returns for 2019 in the US could reach $95bn, hitting sales figures and profit margins (The Financial Times £).

Marston’s is resisting calls to compensate tenants after the pubs watchdog found that it had overcharged for beer and rent. (The Times £)

One of the country’s biggest property investment families has called the bottom of the shopping centre slump after spending almost £23m on two struggling properties (The Times £).

Aggressive activist investor Elliott Advisors has quietly cut its stake in Hammerson, easing some of the pressure on the heavily indebted shopping centre owner. (The Times £)

The BBC’s weekly The Boss series speaks to Mette Lykke, co-founder of fitness tracker Endomondo, and chief executive of food waste app, Too Good To Go. Mette has overseen a rapid expansion in the latter – the firm now employs 450 people, operates in 13 European countries and is due to roll out in Sweden. (The BBC)