Tesco shoppers face empty shelves over Christmas strike action

Tesco shoppers face the prospect of empty supermarket shelves over Christmas, as warehouse and delivery workers strike over pay, the Unite union has warned. More than 1,000 HGV drivers and warehouse staff at four of Tesco’s distribution centres have voted... Read more

Boots must be rescued from a decade of mismanagement

Under more nurturing ownership, the chain should have been able to become the online health, beauty, and logistics goliath that Moulding convinced his cheerleaders he was well on the way to building.   This would have enabled it to capitalise on... Read more

Why the Shiv Roys of this world are best at succession

It might be politically correct to argue that women make better, more inclusive, and more incisive managers than men, especially for the ESG-driven investors who demand they are better represented on boards. In truth, there is not much evidence for... Read more

Upmarket Gail’s faces long journey in battle to become the new Pret

Bain Capital disagrees. In September, it acquired Bread Holdings, the parent company of Gail’s, in a deal that valued the firm at over £200m. Sandro Patti, a director at the American private equity firm, hailed Gail’s ability “to supply high... Read more

The billionaire Thai family closing in on Selfridges

After completing a stint at Citibank for a year, Tos joined the family company in 1989. Citi is also advising Central on the Selfridges deal.  During his time at Central, it has had to ride the wave of political turbulence... Read more

Boots owner plans £5bn sale of chemist chain

Until recently Boots has faced criticism for refusing to invest in its shops. But under Sebastian James, the former Dixons Carphone boss, stores have been modernised in a move that some speculated was priming the business for a sale. In... Read more

‘My oven exploded and John Lewis won’t do anything about it’

Sally says:  You sent me some vivid photos along with your email, showing the shell of the oven and the shattered glass all over your kitchen floor. The lamb joint was still sitting forlornly on the central rack. The incident... Read more

Selfridges takeover does not herald a high street renaissance

The takeover secures the future of an iconic British institution and is proof that there is still some life in bricks and mortar but it shouldn’t be misinterpreted as anything more than that.  It does not signal some dramatic and... Read more

Meet Marta Ortega, Zara’s golden girl and the most powerful woman in fashion you’ve never heard of

Despite all these trappings, and her front row seat at Valentino couture shows, the 37-year-old  generally steers clear of the fashion party circuit, favouring the equestrian crowd instead. For the past 14 years, however, she has also held an integral... Read more

Zara heiress Marta Ortega takes over fashion empire

Investors and analysts raised concerns that Inditex’s new leadership lacked the experience and track record of their predecessors.  Analysts at Kepler said: “We believe that the timing is not the best … as we believe that both Marta Ortega and... Read more

Face masks legally required in hairdressers and takeaways under new Covid rules

The guidance also means incoming travellers must take a PCR test within two days and isolate until they receive a negative result. Any person who comes into contact with a confirmed omicron case must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of... Read more

Gail’s profits rise on back of deals with supermarket chains

The bakery chain Gail’s has reported a rise in profits after striking deals to sell its bread and pastries via supermarkets and Deliveroo. Gail’s parent company Bread ­Holdings said pre-tax profits for the year to February were £4.4m, up from... Read more

Why do retailers start Christmas so early?

Baby’s first Christmas is a big event for mum and dad, but the infant usually ignores the presents and chews the wrapping paper. Things step up a gear for two-year-olds, who like the presents but still prefer the paper (perhaps... Read more

Amazon threatens Visa and Mastercard’s credit card domination

Dungan Barrigan, chief product officer of GoCardless which develops technology for companies to avoid card payments, says Amazon’s decision “is part of a shift away from the duopoly, away from card payments and towards more direct payments that cut out... Read more

Marks & Spencer under fire over plan to demolish flagship Marble Arch store

Under its plans, the retailer will occupy two and a half floors rather than the five currently used, with office space filling the upper floors.  The new space is not due to be completed until 2027. Geoff Barraclough, shadow cabinet... Read more

Former Tesco chief Terry Leahy joins electric car charging start-up

Sir Terry Leahy, the former Tesco chief, has joined an electric car charging start-up as it steps up plans for a London listing. Myenergi is riding a wave of interest in electric vehicles as Britain plans to ban the sale... Read more

Extinction Rebellion protesters cause Black Friday chaos at Amazon

Amazon was targeted on its busiest shopping day of the year as Extinction Rebellion protesters closed off sites, leading to cancelled shifts and the prospect of late deliveries. The environmental group blockaded 13 of Amazon’s 21 warehouses, including its largest... Read more

Huel founder in line for hundreds of millions from £1bn float

The founder of Huel is in line for a fortune worth hundreds of millions of pounds as the meal-replacement drinks maker gears up for a London listing that could value it at up to £1bn. Julian Hearn, the founder, holds a... Read more

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin goes to war on ‘box-ticking’ shareholders

It comes after Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the influential shareholder advisory firm, recommended earlier this month that investors oppose the re-election of Debra van Gene and Sir Richard Beckett as non-executives and abstain on re-electing Mr Martin. Fidelity Investments is... Read more

Fridge magnate’s warning means a bleak Christmas lies ahead

And no wonder. It’s the second time that forecasts have been sharply downgraded since the beginning of October, giving the impression of a company that suddenly finds itself in the middle of a mounting crisis. Warnings of “meaningful supply chain... Read more

Pret A Manger sales rise above pre-pandemic level for first time

The Bank of England may not think the recovery from Covid will be complete until next year, but one measure of the economy suggests we are already back to normal: sales of coffees and sandwiches. Pret a Manger’s weekly data showed... Read more

Fridge magnate’s warning means a bleak Christmas lies ahead

And no wonder. It’s the second time that forecasts have been sharply downgraded since the beginning of October, giving the impression of a company that suddenly finds itself in the middle of a mounting crisis. Warnings of “meaningful supply chain... Read more

Bulb was living in a fool’s paradise of easy money – how much longer can the rest of us?

 Ditto possible tilts for GSK’s consumer arm, even larger at a mooted price tag of around £45bn, which means opportunistic moves for blue-chip beasts such as SSE, Vodafone, and Reckitt Benckiser can’t be ruled out either.  There are worrying echoes... Read more

John Lewis takes aim at ‘throwaway’ culture in retail sector

John Lewis has promised £1m to tackle the retail industry’s “throwaway” culture.  The employee-owned firm is calling on academics, charities and small businesses to pitch ideas to help cut waste and pollution across food, textiles and household products.  It will... Read more