Demand for takeaways during the lockdown drove profits up at the petrol station owner EG Group, offsetting a decline in fuel as Britain was locked down during the first quarter of the year. (The Times £)
A surge in pet ownership during the pandemic has pushed sales at Pets at Home beyond £1 billion for the first time as households have treated their new companions to little luxuries (The Times £). Pets at Home’s revenues surpassed £1bn for the first time, driven by a surge in pet ownership across the UK during lockdown (The Financial Times £, The Daily Mail, Sky News). The “pet baby boom” triggered by the Covid pandemic has translated into soaring sales of designer fashion, homeware and even tech for cats and dogs, as owners treat their animals to the same creature comforts as the humans in the household (The Guardian).
Break-up costs pushed profits lower at Tate & Lyle as the company continues with talks to sell a controlling stake in its artificial sweetener business. (The Times £)
Pubs are expecting to sell 21 million fewer pints than normal this bank holiday weekend – despite predictions for the weather to finally turn for the better. (Sky News)
Restaurant bookings were a third higher than pre-pandemic levels in the week after indoor hospitality was allowed to return, according to new data. (Sky News)
The cost of raw materials that go into making breakfast staples have roared higher since the pandemic began — raising fears that a broad commodity boom could push up global food prices for consumers. Prices for bulk contracts of coffee, milk, sugar, wheat, oats and orange juice have jumped 28% on average from 2019 levels. (The Financial Times £)
The UK ponders lower tariffs for higher standards as its trade deal with Australia highlights some of the snags facing UK in its attempt to become Global Britain. “From a standards point of view, the Australia deal is less worrying than its critics seem to think. But then neither will the UK government’s apparent solution make much difference to those challenges it does pose.” (The Financial Times £)
The 24-hour store was pioneered in America but perfected in Japan. That retail innovation is now being challenged by overworked franchisees, technology start-ups and pandemic shopping habits. Why go to a convenience store for ice cream, painkillers or even onigiri rice balls if they can conveniently be brought to you? (The Financial Times £)