Retail Round up the Sunday papers
J Sainsbury has launched a renewed attack on Tesco’s Price Promise after the advertising watchdog sided with Britain’s biggest supermarket in a row over the comparison of own-label products. In a letter to The Sunday Times, Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s commercial director, accused Tesco of making unfair price pledges on own-brand items without reference to quality or sourcing. “The Tesco Price Promise claims to be a fair comparison which makes sense to shoppers,” Coupe wrote, “but by failing to compare own brands fairly it is taking power away from customers to make accurate and informed choices.”
The former boss of the world-famous Fortnum & Mason store in London is leading a £20m campaign to improve the look and feel of Bond Street — home to luxury brands such as Dior and Gucci. Beverley Aspinall, who stood down as chief executive last year, is fronting a plan by the New West End Company to smarten up the street.
Independent on Sunday
Tesco is set to be one of the first big companies to capitalise on a major change to water regulations that will save English and Welsh businesses £2bn over 30 years. The supermarket chain has signed a deal with Business Stream, which was spun out from Scottish Water, to provide water at nine sites across England and Wales. The Tesco pilot could eventually be rolled out to the supermarket's entire UK estate of more than 3,100 stores.
Asked the cost of a regular beefburger, you might guess around £3... with fries. But, next week, a select group will be fed a £250,000 patty. What's the difference? This one was grown in a laboratory – from a cow's stem cells. The scientist behind the "in vitro" burger believes synthetic meat could help to save the world from the growing consumer demand for beef, lamb, pork and chicken.
Amazon.co.uk saw soaring sales of Inferno, Dan Brown's latest book, plus evidence of Britain's baby boom in a leap in demand for nappy wipes, but that could not stop the world's biggest online retailer falling to a surprise loss for the last three months. Amazon enjoyed a 22 per cent jump in global sales to $15.7bn (£10.2bn) between April and June, but growing expenses pushed it into the red.
Mail on Sunday
The bosses of Ocado and Morrisons are facing their first tiff this weekend over controversial proposals for an online sales tax. Last week, Morrisons completed a £216 million deal for Ocado to provide an online shopping service in a deal widely seen as a critical step forward for both retailers. But the chief executives have quickly found themselves on opposing sides of the online tax debate.
Hand-knitted fashion label Wool And The Gang has raised £1.8 million from venture capital firms to expand online and develop a global network of knitters.The manufacturer, in Dalston, East London, uses individual knitters in Peru to make clothing instead of factories.
A £1 billion-a-year windfall is on the way for British businesses if plans to cap the fees they pay to credit and debit card companies such as Visa and MasterCard are pushed through by the European Commission. But consumers are unlikely to benefit by even a penny as the card firms seek to recoup what are called interchange fees in other ways and shops keep what they save to meet spiralling costs. This weekend it emerged that major retailers including Sir Philip Green’s Topshop-to-BHS empire Arcadia Group, Asda, Debenhams, Next and B&Q are to sue Visa. The retailers are claiming billions on fees going back a decade.
Supermarket chains could face fines of up to £1 billion if they bully their suppliers in new rules being drawn up this week. Grocery Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon wants the power to fine rogue supermarkets a percentage of their sales. She is preparing to start consultations next week on the penalties and broader rules over powers to investigate wrongdoing. The process will be completed in October then presented to the Government.
A year on from the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, Justin King is back at the Olympic Stadium, the scene of one of his greatest triumphs as Sainsbury’s chief executive. The stadium in East London is an unusual place for the boss of a supermarket chain to find success, but Sainsbury’s sponsorship of the Paralympics has come to define the company’s outperformance of its main rivals since the onset of the financial crisis. King says the decision to sponsor the Paralympics has left the Sainsbury’s brand is in a “warmer place than it has ever been”.
The food giant Mars is under fire from animal welfare campaigners after it emerged that one of its subsidiaries has been sponsoring bear-baiting competitions. Pet food manufacturer Royal Canin said it was "horrified" to learn that it had sponsored a contest near Vinnytsia in Ukraine earlier this year.
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