Black Friday sales rebounded this year as shoppers sought good deals, despite predictions that higher cost of living would cloud the event (bbc). Britain’s big shopping malls were packed this weekend, defying the most pessimistic forecasters who predicted consumers would stay home on one of the key shopping weekends of the year as a recession loomed (times £).
Black Friday got off to a quiet start in the UK, with the number of deliveries booked down by around 5% and no increase on the high street. (The Guardian)
High street bosses are bracing for a series of casualties this Christmas as households battle rising food and energy bills. Industry insiders and store executives have said chains have been caught between rapidly rising costs and weaker-than-expected demand. (The Daily Mail)
Sausage casing maker Devro soared 62% after an offer from one of Germany’s largest agricultural groups. Saria, part of the Rethmann family empire, offered £667m for Devro, marking a 65 per cent premium to its closing price on Thursday (The Daily Mail). Devro’s generous £540m takeover offer for Saria boosted shares of the sausage maker to levels not seen in six years (times £).
Amazon’s UK tax bill increase could rise by £29m next year as a result of merchant rate changes that are set to hit warehouses and online retailers the hardest. (The Guardian).
The EU will propose a bloc-wide tax on vaping as part of a reorganization of taxes on the tobacco industry that would also double excise duties in member states with low taxes on cigarettes, according to a draft European Commission document. . (Financial time £)
Nando’s, the chicken restaurant chain, has more than halved its losses as it reported a “significant uptick” in customer demand over the past year. (times £)
Andy Bond will rejoin Pepco as its chairman early next year, having made a full recovery from the ill health that led to his stepping down as chief executive of the Poundland owner in the spring. (times £)
Cranswick, one of Britain’s biggest food producers, is taking 400 butcher shops more than 6,000 miles from the Philippines to avoid a Christmas lockdown following a post-Brexit exodus of staff. (times £)
Warehouses operated by high street fashion retailers including Marks & Spencer are filling up with unsold stock as supply chain pressures ease and shoppers rein in spending (times £). British retailers are hoping that one of the traditionally busiest shopping periods of the year will help reduce the amount of clothing filling stores after being surprised by improved delivery times from suppliers (The Guardian).
A pub industry veteran is toasting his biggest shareholder after he pumped new funds into his business amid talks with lenders. Oaktree Capital has in recent weeks committed millions of pounds to RedCat Pub Company, set up by Rooney Anand, which operates from around 120 locations. (sky news)
Domino’s, Britain’s largest pizza delivery business by far, has been preparing ‘all year’ for the World Cup tournament. They had seen sales soar in last year’s delayed Euro 2020 competition, in which England lost in the final to Italy. In a group stage match between England and Scotland, Domino’s was selling 13 pizzas every second. (The Daily Mail)
Pets at Home plans further diversification. This week, CEO Lyssa McGowan pointed to the “big gap” between sending a bag of dog food and having surgery on a cat. She mentioned nutrition, wellness, preventative medicine, household items, accessories, end-of-life care, and training. Growth, she said, would be both organic and through “cumulative M&A opportunities.” (Financial time £)
Despite the challenges, it is by no means a bearish one for the beverage giants. Spirits have been a bright spot, led by the baijiu market in China and trendy tequila in the US. UK-listed drinks giant Diageo has decent brands in this segment, ranging from Johnnie Walker whiskey to Smirnoff vodka. And these big brands have pricing power. (Financial time £)
Rare whiskeys have become one of the biggest beneficiaries of volatile financial markets, as investors seek safety in more tangible assets. (Financial time £)
The Times takes a look at how THIS found its way into the alternative meat space. Creating alternatives to meat requires investment. It took £900,000 to develop the first two products, a vegan bacon and vegan chicken nuggets, and place them on the menus of Patty & Bun, the London burger chain, and the shelves of Waitrose (times £)