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Big supermarkets should hand back almost £2bn in business rates relief on offer during the coronavirus pandemic because they are paying out dividends to shareholders, according to a former minister in Boris Johnson’s government (The Guardian). The UK’s largest food retailers have been urged by MPs to waive their entitlement to a business rates holiday before issuing dividends to shareholders (The Financial Times £). With shoppers panic buying and now stocking up for Christmas, The Times asks why is the business rates holiday helping supermarkets to dish out huge dividends? (The Times £).

Superdry’s chief executive has called for a VAT cut and further business rates relief to support shopkeepers after another month of stores closures and says any further business rates relief should not apply to supermarkets or food retailers. (The Telegraph)

Shoppers waited for two hours in a virtual queue for Christmas delivery slots with Tesco in the first signs of chaos amid increased demand (The Telegraph). Tesco has apologised after its grocery website was overwhelmed with shoppers trying to book delivery slots for Christmas (The Guardian).

UK retailers face biggest test as Christmas goes online. Industry has spent millions expanding website capacity as Covid shuts shops at busiest time. (The Financial Times £)

Retailers are warning a logjam at the country’s biggest container port could result in product shortages this Christmas, as it emerged 11,000 containers of government-procured PPE is clogging up Felixstowe (The Guardian). Retailers, shipping and haulage companies have complained of “chaos” at Felixstowe Port in Suffolk, affecting goods in the run-up to Christmas (The BBC).

Walmart has agreed to sell a majority stake in its Japan supermarket chain Seiyu in the latest move by the world’s biggest retailer to reshape its footprint outside the US. (The Financial Times £)

Greggs has announced plans to cut more than 800 jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic (The Guardian). Greggs has announced plans to cut more than 800 jobs as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic (Sky News, The BBC).

The owners of the petrol stations business EG Group have raised expensive debt-like financing from sovereign wealth and pension funds, handing them hundreds of millions of pounds in fresh cash that could help fund their buyout of the UK supermarket chain Asda. (The Financial Times £)

A former finance chief of Worldpay is being lined up to bolster the boardroom of Deliveroo as the food delivery app heads towards a blockbuster London flotation. (Sky News)

The legal battle over business interruption policies that did not pay out to small firms during the pandemic will edge towards its climax today when appeals are heard by the Supreme Court (The Times £). A hotly-contested case about insurance payouts for small businesses who were unable to trade owing to lockdown heads to the Supreme Court on Monday (The BBC).

Sainsbury’s Bank could prove tasty acquisition, writes The Times, noting lenders including Natwest, Lloyds and Metro Bank are interested in buying Sainsbury’s Bank from its supermarket parent. (The Times £)

More than 60 leading retailers in the UK have said shops that are not allowed to trade before Christmas may never reopen. (The Guardian).

The South African tycoon behind Nando’s has stepped in to rescue Wahaca, the Mexican-themed restaurant chain that was co-founded by a former winner of the BBC’s Masterchef competition. (The Times £)

The owner of All Bar One and Harvester is axing up to 20 pubs and restaurants, putting scores of jobs at risk as the industry battles tighter restrictions. (The Telegraph)

Caffè Nero has told some of its landlords not to expect any rent for three years after Covid-19 halted two decades of rapid expansion. (The Times £)

The chief executive of The Hut Group is to receive one of the biggest payouts in UK corporate history after the recently listed online retailer’s share price rose, sparking calls for higher taxes on the super-rich. (The Guardian)

As climate change wreaks havoc on the weather and populations explode, the allure of indoor farms has grown. A crop of similar firms has emerged in recent years, however, the promise to disrupt what may have been humanity’s first industry is proving slow to materialise. (The Times £)

The Telegraph’s Questor column advises investors to buy WH Smith as its strategy – invest in airports and stations – is spot on and is being implemented cleverly even during the pandemic. (The Telegraph)

A government consultation that could force companies to publish details of how much food they waste has been delayed until next year, triggering criticism by campaigners that ministers are using the pandemic as an excuse to stall efforts to drive down the amount thrown away. (The Guardian)