When questioned last month about Sainsbury’s proposed takeover of Nisa, the grocer’s boss Mike Coupe remained tight-lipped.

He declined to confirm if talks were progressing in any particular direction and went so far as to remind media at a results briefing that such speculated deals often come to nothing.

Indeed, the chance of Sainsbury’s £130m acquisition of Nisa coming to fruition is now slimmer than ever, after the grocer hit pause on takeover talks.

Understandably, the business is worried that the deal might stoke greater than expected regulatory interest, particularly after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) expressed concerns about Tesco’s proposed takeover of Booker.

But taking a step back may be no bad thing for Sainsbury’s, particularly as it currently has its hands full with the lengthy process of integrating last year’s grand purchase – Argos.

UK’s 100 highest-paid retail bosses

Coupe – the chief executive behind Sainsbury’s recent acquisitive behaviour – came 11th in Retail Week’s annual list of the UK’s 100 highest-paid retail bosses, with a pay package totalling £2,349,000.

The ranking, unveiled today, also analyses the emerging trends in retail pay, including increased boardroom sensitivity to public perception and an overall decline in average pay and rewards.

Elsewhere in the news today, Laura Ashley issued a profit warning and Argos distribution workers kicked off three weeks of strike action.

Quote of the day

“We’re disappointed with the union’s actions, which are based on unreasonable demands and are wholly unnecessary. Customers will not be impacted and should be reassured that full contingency plans are in place.”

An Argos spokesperson commenting on the strike action launched today by distribution workers

Today in numbers


The total package awarded to the highest-paid retail boss last year. Find out who here


The percentage John Lewis fashion sales climbed by last week

Tomorrow’s agenda

No planned updates for tomorrow – happy trading.

Emily Hardy, senior reporter