Danone’s board of directors has decided to replace Emmanuel Faber as both chief executive and chairman, according to people familiar with the matter, blowing up a two-week-old compromise designed to have him remain as chairman. (The Financial Times £)
Pret A Manger will sell baked treats through Tesco as the chain fights to counteract the effect of lockdowns on its city centre cafés. Pret, owned by German fund JAB Holdings, has agreed a deal with Britain’s biggest supermarket that will initially see frozen Pret croissants for baking at home sold in 700 Tesco stores. (The Times £)
More than 17,500 chain store outlets disappeared from high streets, shopping centres and retail parks across Great Britain last year as the Covid-19 pandemic spurred the worst decline on record (The Guardian). A record number of shops closed last year as the pandemic put unprecedented pressure on businesses (The Times £).
Battle over food delivery intensifies as Deliveroo prepares listing, writes The FT. “It is clear that the pandemic supercharged the food delivery space… Nonetheless, Deliveroo and DoorDash are both warning of slower growth in customer spending this year.” (The Financial Times £)
Former Just Eat boss David Buttress thinks the soaraway growth of Just Eat and Deliveroo will plateau before reverting to pre-Covid levels. “The heart of the question is whether the past year has permanently changed habits, or whether people will rush back into cinemas, offices and restaurants as virus cases fall and freedom resumes.” (The Times £)
Two of the biggest names in hospitality have threatened to take the government to court over its plans to release England from lockdown. Pizza Express investor Hugh Osmond and Greater Manchester’s night time economy adviser, Sacha Lord, said the industry is losing £200m a day. (The BBC)
One of Britain’s largest shopping centre owners has written down the value of its properties by almost £2 billion after suffering its biggest annual drop in rental income on record (The Times £). Hammerson, owner of the Bullring and Brent Cross shopping centres, has warned it will need to sell more of its property empire to survive the coronavirus crisis, after reporting a record £1.7bn loss for 2020 (The Guardian). Hammerson, the owner of Birmingham’s Bullring and London’s Brent Cross, has cut the valuations of its shopping centres by almost £2bn after suffering the biggest drop in rental income in its history (The Daily Mail)
The death of bricks and mortar retail has only just begun, writes Ben Marlow in The Telegraph. Shopping centre owner Hammerson is in need of some retail therapy as the online shopping revolution bites. (The Telegraph)
Business optimism has climbed to its highest level since June 2015, boosted by the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, according to a survey. (Sky News)
Britain’s exports to the European Union fell by a record 40% at the start of the year as the end of the transition period caused disruption to trade, official figures show (The Times £). The UK economy rediscovered a reverse gear in January as renewed coronavirus lockdowns knocked output while trade suffered a Brexit hit, according to official figures (Sky News).
Foreign holdings of sterling deposits have surged to levels not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis, leaving the pound at risk of a steep fall if sentiment should change, a leading economist has warned. (The Times £)
It’s crunch time for Greggs this week as the bakery chain reveals what the future may hold after the pandemic took a big bite out of its sales. (The Guardian)
Amazon has signalled plans to break into the pharmacy industry in the UK, having disrupted the $300bn (£215 billion) prescription drugs market in America. (The Times £)
Britain’s largest independent chain of petrol stations Motor Fuel Group is to spend £400m on installing 3,000 fast electric chargers across its nationwide estate. (The Times £)
A more than tenfold rise in the price of cardboard since the start of the pandemic is sparking fears among small British companies that they will be unable to source boxes needed to send out products and parts to customers. (The Financial Times £)