Marks & Spencer is poised to overtake Waitrose as it wins over growing numbers of middle class shoppers (Daily Mail). Marks & Spencer’s sales are growing faster than Aldi, data has shown, as it lures more middle class shoppers through its doors with lower prices (Telegraph £).

Growth in UK retail spending slowed in January, according to new industry data that suggests households continue to be squeezed by the cost of living crisis (Financial Times £). The traditional January sales on the high street failed to inspire a revival in consumer spending last month, as households continued to cut back amid the cost of living crisis (The Guardian). British retailers endured weaker than expected sales growth in January as shoppers remain cautious on discretionary spending, industry data shows (Daily Mail). Cold weather and ongoing cost of living pressures discouraged shoppers last month, experts believe (Sky News).

Pret a Manger is ditching its final vegetarian-only stores as fewer customers seek out specialist meat-free branches. (Telegraph £)

The Co-op is installing in its supermarkets more than 200 secure till kiosks, locked cabinets for bottles of spirits and AI technology to monitor self-checkouts after a 44% surge in retail crime last year to about 1,000 incidents a day. (The Guardian)

‘It’s still disruptive’: why the Co-op’s first female boss has big plans for expansion. Shirine Khoury-Haq says the group is ready to shake up the grocery and funeral care markets as it goes on an expansion drive and tries to sign up millions more members – whether by offering tickets for Liam Gallagher or special discounts on milk and bread. (The Guardian)

Fever-Tree mixes it up as it fights back from pandemic downturn – US growth and overcoming cost headwinds point the way to recovery for the upmarket mixer brand, writes The Times’ Tempus column. “Fever-Tree’s chairman has just bought almost £450,000 of shares at 974p, but a false step could attract bid interest”. (The Times £)

Retailers are facing a “pivotal juncture” this year as more merge their physical and online operations and try to tackle the unsustainable cost of home deliveries and returns, an industry report suggests. (The Times £)

Drip pricing, excuse-flation and rockets and feathers: the strategies supermarkets and other businesses use to make you pay more. An Australian inquiry into price-gouging referenced several pricing practices major businesses use to extract extra dollars from consumers, using methods that would not work in more competitive markets. (The Guardian)