Aldi rang up nearly £1 billion of sales in December in another record period for Christmas trading in Britain (The Times £). Discount supermarket chain Aldi sold almost £1bn worth of goods in December after enjoying its “busiest ever” week ahead of Christmas (The Telegraph). Aldi sold nearly £1bn of goods in the UK last month, with sales buoyed by rising demand for its premium ranges (The Guardian). Supermarket group Aldi has become the latest retailer to defy the UK’s high street gloom, reporting record sales over the Christmas period as it opened more stores and lured shoppers with cut-price luxuries (The Financial Times £). The German-owned retailer said it welcomed an “influx of festive shoppers” switching from rivals and that it saw a surge in demand for its premium ranges (Sky News). Aldi has opened a jam-packed week of supermarket Christmas trading updates with some positive numbers as it raked in sales of almost £1billion in December (The Daily Mail).
The UK’s biggest supermarkets have launched a range of price cuts. On Monday, Morrisons said it would cut prices by an average of 20% on 935 products, including tinned tomatoes, cereals and multivitamins. Meanwhile Tesco said it was cutting the price of hundreds of products this month in some cases by more than 50%. (The BBC)
The executive chairman of Patisserie Holdings retains dozens of directorships, despite vowing to scale back his other commitments to focus on saving the troubled café chain. The Times (£) writes that Luke Johnson, one of Britain’s most high-profile entrepreneurs, holds board roles at 24 companies, including two other listed companies, according to an analysis of company filings.
Amazon was crowned the world’s most valuable public company last night, a milestone reached only 25 years after Jeff Bezos had founded the ecommerce giant in his garage. (The Times £)
The Times (£) looks at how retailers can beat the threat of Amazon. The paper writes: “Retailers, since they can’t compete with online on price, need to become more of a destination, more of a treat, more of an enjoyable experience. That means wine tastings in off-licences, fashion shows in clothing shops, author signings in bookshops. It means well-informed, articulate shop assistants.”
Starbucks is to rein in plans to open more than 1,000 highbrow coffee shops around the world as its new chief executive unwinds some of his predecessor’s initiatives. (The Times £)
The Telegraph has a feature on UK coffee chain Black Sheep Coffee, which has grown to £10m in annual turnover and 28 shops across London, Manchester and Manila. (The Telegraph)
Spicy tomatoes could soon be on the menu thanks to the rise of genome-editing technology, according to researchers. (The Guardian)
The FT has published a special report on the future of food and agriculture. The report includes articles on ‘Fair trade food schemes battle to promote better standards’ (The Financial Times £), Police target vast mafia profits from food fraud and mislabelling (The Financial Times £) ‘UK’s organic food growers aim for a bigger slice of pie’ (The Financial Times £) and ‘Seafood suppliers must tackle slavery risk, say campaigners’ (The Financial Times £). The report also looks at how Europe’s farmers face a generational crisis as young desert the land (The Financial Times £) and the the robot revolution down on the farm (The Financial Times £).