The South African retail tycoon Christo Wiese, who has stakes in Iceland and New Look, weighed up a bid for Argos before Sainsbury’s agreed a takeover price last week, according to The Sunday Times. The paper writes the billionaire was understood to have looked over the company with former Asda CEO Andy Bond, who now runs Pep & Co, a discount clothing start-up backed by Wiese. “A well-placed source said the pair had stalked Home Retail Group, Argos’s parent company, but decided to focus on other deals,” the article said.

The Sunday Times also featured an in-depth article headlined “Coupe has a cunning plan for Argos”. The colour piece details the inside negotiations behind the deal with some well-placed sources and throws up such nuggets as the Sainsbury’s team and its banking advisors got through “26 Pizza Express takeaways and litres of Diet Pepsi” as they hammered out the finer points at the supermarket’s HQ.

The merger would trigger a wave of consolidation on the high street, former Marks & Spencer chairman and chief executive Lord Rose told The Sunday Express. “I can see the logic of the deal,” he said. “Retail is evolving and what we’ll see is more consolidation. The sector is trapped in a vicious circle: prices are falling, there is too much capacity in the market and margins are going to remain under pressure.”

Elsewhere on a fairly quiet weekend for retail, The Telegraph reports that Ocado’s relationship with Morrisons was under fresh pressure. Apparently, the online grocer’s prospective international partners were “closely scrutinising” its “tense relationship” with Morrisons. The Yorkshire-headquartered supermarket has so far not taken up its right to have capacity in Ocado’s Erith distribution centre. “According to sources, the tactic is being adopted to squeeze the best deal out of its controversially restrictive 25-year contract with the online firm”, the paper added.

The Telegraph also reports that the owner of the John Lewis and Waitrose held a debate with Lord Stuart Rose and John Mills on the consequences of Brexit. The debate was organised by John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield, who has not publicly revealed which side of the fence he sits on. The Sunday Times examines the divide between business leaders over whether Britain should remain in the EU. The piece looks at who wants to stay and who wants to leave.

Giles Brook, the UK boss of coconut water brand Vita Coco, has told fellow suppliers to stop “whinging” about Tesco. In a Telegraph interview Brook accused Tesco’s suppliers of “bleating” and failing to understand that “business is business”. He gave a defence of Tesco following the publication of the critical report from the Grocery Code Adjudicator. “The UK’s number one supermarket has had a bit of a slamming but I’m going to give you a different spin on it,” Brook said. “There’s are far too many suppliers whinging about how supermarkets treat them. It’s a tough economic climate out there and too many suppliers are bleating about the retailers. Most people would have a business without the supermarkets. I’m hearing a lot of whinging about unfair treatment but you have a choice at the end of the day.”