Welcome to the May-June issue of Grocery Trader. Morrisons has bought McColl’s out of administration in a deal which has saved all the convenience retailer’s 16,000 jobs and its stores. The transaction was structured through a pre-pack administration. The administration was initiated by McColl’s board after McColl’s lenders withdrew their support for the business.

READ THE MAY / JUNE ISSUE HERE

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to comments from MPs alluding to a proposed ban on special offers for HFSS (high fat, salt, sugar) products being scrapped as part of a range of measures to mitigate the ongoing cost of living crisis. The ban, which is due to come into force in less than five months’ time, will stop thousands of retailers from providing multibuy offers and extra free deals on a range of products, including cereals, juices, yogurts, potato products and ready meals. News coverage in the FT, the Express and on Sky News has reported that the plans are set to be shelved.

Asda’s latest Income Tracker has revealed that UK households experienced the biggest fall in discretionary income on record last month due to soaring living costs. The Income Tracker showed that after paying taxes and essential bills, households had an average discretionary income of £231 per week in March, down £16.19 a week year-on-year, representing the largest fall since the tracker was created in 2008. Households are feeling the pinch, as essential spending on energy bills, fuel, groceries, rent and mortgages rose by an average of £37 per week in March, compared to the previous year.

Jammie Dodgers is bringing a touch of mischief to this edition of Grocery Trader in conjunction with the launch of its #WitnessTheMischief campaign – as you may have noticed when picking up your copy and perhaps being fooled by the brand’s mischievous use of our back cover. Be warned, there’s more of that to come, as well as a Supplier Spotlight interview with CEO of Foxes Burton’s Companies, Simon Browne who reveals the secrets to the success of the 60 year old Jammie Dodger brand.

Louise Reynard is Commercial Controller at St Pierre Groupe. She works across all three St Pierre Groupe brands – St Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood and leads on national supermarket accounts including Morrisons and ASDA. Reynard tells our Supplier Spotlight page the rolls subcategory is the one to watch.

As Covid cases hit their highest levels for months, the pandemic is exacerbating staff shortages in retail. Now more than ever, retailers need to show they’re putting employee health first, by developing sound wellbeing strategies. In a special report, Tony Gregg, Chief Executive at retail executive search firm Anthony Gregg Partnership, highlights how retailer leaders can develop wellbeing strategies that respond to workforce needs.

Enjoy reading the issue.

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