Under-pressure supermarkets and high-street retailers face paying out billions of pounds in extra wages and tax over the next five years after George Osborne’s Budget introduced a new national living wage and revealed a sharp rise in business rates. Businesses will have to stump up an estimated £4bn to meet the Chancellor’s living wage, with the retail and hospitality sectors accounting for two-thirds of workers on the minimum wage. (The Telegraph)

The government’s new national living wage will have a devastating impact on independent retailers and could lead to price rises for shoppers, analysts have warned. Store executives and industry experts said that the retail sector, which employs vast numbers of staff on or just above the national minimum wage, would be forced to cut jobs, reduce staff working hours and pass on additional costs to their shoppers. (The Guardian)

The new living wage “burden” hit the share prices of the bigger retailers while smaller shops said the plan is “reckless” (The Daily Mail)

Staff at Sainsbury’s could be forced to choose between higher pay and cut-price groceries as the supermarket chain contemplates the cost of introducing a living wage. Sainsbury’s has refused to heed calls to pay the living wage of £7.85 until now. However, Mike Coupe, the chief executive, told shareholders yesterday that he was “actively exploring” the issue. (The Times £)

The supermarket industry’s Big Four were divided yesterday over the prospect of the biggest shake-up in Sunday trading laws in 20 years, but small businesses reacted with horror. Wm Morrison and Asda welcomed the idea, though Sainsbury’s appeared to be less enthusiastic and Tesco sat on the fence. (The Times £)

Fever-Tree, the maker of premium mixers, has reported fizzing sales in the first half of the year, with revenues up 61pc on the previous year to hit £24m. The ongoing trend towards premium spirits is powering growth, said Fever-Tree co-founder Tim Warrillow, as consumers trade up to a premium mixer to go with their craft gin or vodka. (The Telegraph)

Justin King, who led Sainsbury’s for a decade, is to carry out an independent review of Thomas Cook after fierce criticism of the holiday company over the deaths of two children at a hotel in Corfu. (The Times £)

The FT has a feature on pub group Marston’s, which is increasingly looking to “upmarket pub grub as recipe for success” (The Financial Times £)