The rising ownership of cats and dogs during the lockdown has led to a run on pet food and warnings of a nationwide shortage of supplies that is likely to last all year (The Guardian). UK supermarkets have warned of a shortage of some dog and cat food products following an “unprecedented” rise in pet ownership during lockdown (The BBC).
British retailers have warned that they will not be ready in time to meet a target of the government’s anti obesity drive in pushing chocolates, sweets and other unhealthy snacks to the backs of stores next year. (The Financial Times £)
Marks and Spencer has revealed plans for a six-year, multimillion-pound redevelopment of its flagship Marble Arch store in London that will almost halve the retail area and introduce several floors of office space (The Financial Times £). The retailer’s vast central London store near Marble Arch is to be demolished and then redeveloped with reduced retail space and new offices in the latest demonstration of big changes on Britain’s high street (The Times £). Under the proposals, a nine-storey building will be built, with just the bottom two floors devoted to retail (The Daily Mail). Marks & Spencer has become the latest retailer to reveal plans to turn some retail space into offices (The Telegraph). Marks & Spencer is to knock down and redevelop its largest UK store after a big consumer switch to online shopping during the pandemic (The Guardian).
The UK pizza group Domino’s said it plans to open 200 stores and create 7,000 jobs as it vies with businesses such as Deliveroo and Just Eat for a share of the country’s booming food delivery market (The Financial Times £). Domino’s Pizza has reported higher profits in the UK and unveiled plans for more outlets and drive-thru services, as the Covid-19 pandemic prompted more people to order meals (The Guardian). Domino’s Pizza has unveiled a post-lockdown plan to grow the business including 200 new stores and a widespread drive-thru service to bolster collection sales (Sky News).
Domino’s Pizza Group has delivered on its promise to return surplus cash to shareholders with an £88m payout in dividends and share buybacks (The Times £). Domino’s Pizza shares soared after the group promised to dish out £88m to investors through buybacks and dividends (The Daily Mail).
Swedish alt-milk brand Oatly, which is gearing up for a US stock market listing, has announced plans to open one of the world’s biggest plant-based dairy factories in the UK. (The Guardian)
Tesco has started rolling out “soft plastic” recycling points so customers can recycle old packaging such as bread bags, pet food pouches and crisp packets. (Sky News)
Unilever will ditch the word “normal” from its beauty products and tone down model photo editing in a bid to burnish its diversity and inclusion credentials. (The Telegraph)
The chairman of the John Lewis Partnership has backed the controversial idea of paying regular benefits to all regardless of their personal circumstances, suggesting a “universal basic income” could help tackle economic inequality in the North and inner London. (The Telegraph)
An outbreak of a deadly pig disease may have set the stage for Covid-19 to take hold in humans, a new analysis has suggested. African swine fever, which first swept through China in 2018, disrupted pork supplies increasing the potential for human-virus contact as people sought out alternative meats. (The Guardian)
Stores still matter when it comes to online groceries, writes The FT. Covid has sent sales soaring with much of the growth online, but not all customers are happy. “Today’s apps cannot replicate a physical visitor’s ability to scan a shelf, make substitutions and, crucially, discover things they didn’t know they wanted. That makes shoppers unhappy.” (The Financial Times £)
The Telegraph’s Questor column advises investors to buy Sainsbury’s shares. Two years ago Sainsbury’s was in trouble, but the world has changed, it writes. Now it says the supermarket’s solid digital presence should shield grocer from cheaper rivals, while a cost-cutting drive may boost cash. (The Telegraph)