Retail round up the Sunday papers
The chief executive of Tesco is to launch a major campaign against food waste this week, saying that the scale of the problem is “breathtaking” and that every family wastes £700 a year throwing away food. In a major move aimed at showing that Tesco can use its scale to create social change, Philip Clarke will say that it is important that the supermarket promotes a new image to its customers. Food will come in smaller sizes, and food promotions will be tailored to stop encouraging people to buy large amounts of food with a short shelf life.
The chairman of Marks & Spencer says he is “100pc behind” chief executive Marc Bolland and his strategy despite the underperformance of the retailer’s clothing business. On the eve of Marks & Spencer’s full-year results, Robert Swannell said that the company is undergoing a “radical transformation” under Mr Bolland and that shareholders are supportive of the strategy. The consensus among City analysts is that on Tuesday the retailer will report flat pre-tax profits of £658m, with food sales increasing but clothing sales falling sharply.
The announcement that Ocado had done a £216m deal with Morrisons to launch Morrisons.com leaves their erstwhile partner, Waitrose, looking like the husband who has just been shown the door. “You’ll be hearing from my solicitors,” must be a response high on the list of possible options from Mark Price, the managing director of Waitrose. The retailer’s announcement that they would be “studying the details of the deal very carefully” was not an overly disguised reference to the fact Waitrose believes that any tie-up with a competitor may breach the terms of Waitrose’s deal with Ocado.
Tesco has signed deals to open a swathe of new stores for its clothing brand F&F in central Asia and the Middle East. The supermarket plans to work with Al-Hokair, an existing franchise partner, to expand in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan. It has also struck a new agreement with Al-Futtaim, another franchise operator, to push into the Middle East.
The boss of Ocado has insisted Waitrose should be pleased about the internet grocer’s controversial tie-up with Wm Morrison, despite the looming threat of a legal row. Ocado, which relies on Waitrose for about three-quarters of its products, sealed a £216m deal with Morrisons on Friday to enable the Bradford-based supermarket chain to enter the online market quickly. Under the terms of the 25-year agreement, Morrisons will buy Ocado’s newly built automated distribution centre at Dordon, Warwickshire.
Marks & Spencer's store staff could see their meagre £100 bonus trimmed or ditched after the retail bellwether posts a further fall in annual profits this week. M&S, which launched a make-or-break new fashion range last week, is also set to slash bonuses for board members, head office staff and store managers. The much smaller payout to sales assistants is entirely discretionary and could be at risk, following a sharp drop from an estimated figure of £350 to just £100 last year.
The owner of Yo Sushi is battling rival private equity firms to acquire Byron, the upmarket burger chain, for £100m. Quilvest, which acquired the sushi chain in 2008, and Searchlight Capital Partners are understood to be among a few private equity houses through to the second-round of bids for Byron. Silverfleet Capital looked at the 30-restaurant chain but did not submit a bid.
Easing pain for motorists at the petrol pump and Chancellor George Osborne's Budget beer duty largesse should this week herald the first fall in inflation since last September. The Bank of England's Consumer Prices Index inflation benchmark is expected to ease to 2.6 per cent in April from 2.8 per cent in March as a 2 per cent fall in fuel costs contrasts with price hikes a year earlier.
Tyrrells, the maker of crisps loved by Middle England, has whetted the appetite of private-equity firms to buy the business for about £100m. Founded in 2002, the maker of hand-cooked crisps operates in more than 20 countries, with its biggest markets outside the UK being the US, Canada, France and Germany.
Mail on Sunday
Ocado chairman Sir Stuart Rose – the former chief executive of Marks & Spencer – has seen his wealth jump by £1.5million after the delivery group’s deal with Morrisons. Shares leapt 25 per cent on Friday after an agreement to help the supermarket set up an online grocery delivery service was announced.
Amazon is paying just 4.5 per cent tax on its European profits after directing its sales through the tax haven of Luxembourg, accounts seen by The Mail on Sunday show. Last week the internet retail giant faced criticism after its UK accounts showed very low levels of reported sales and profits here, despite British consumers accounting for about half its sales in Europe.
Sales at Burberry have broken through £2billion, results for the year to the end of March will show this week. Figures have been boosted by a strong performance in China, particularly over Christmas and New Year. Pre-tax profits are expected to be up from £376million for the previous 12 months to £417million. Burberry will open three big stores in Shanghai this year to capitalise on Asian demand for luxury British brands. It opened a flagship store in Regent Street, Central London, last year.
Mothercare is set to report that profits have more than quadrupled despite its UK operation continuing to drag on the business. Analysts forecast that the childrenswear retailer will report a rise in full-year pre-tax profit from £1.5 million to £6.6 million this week driven by success overseas including in the Middle East. However, the UK division is forecast to report a loss of £21 million.
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