Tesco’s proposed £3.7bn Booker takeover has come under more pressure with experts suggesting the grocer may have to ditch hundreds of its Express convenience stores.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis and Booker boss Charles Wilson have tried to play down competition concerns over the acquisition, however, one of the City’s largest shareholder groups, Hermes Fund Management, said the takeover could put independent corner shops out of business and prompt a backlash against the supermarket giant.

As ever, the Competition and Markets Authority is waiting in the wings, ready to vet the £3.7bn acquisition.

These competition concerns come as two of Tesco’s biggest investors, Schroders and Artisan Partners, wrote to the grocer’s chairman John Allan urging him to pull the plug on the deal.

Tesco has said it remains “absolutely committed” to the deal, however, it’s clearly going to be a long hard slog to get the acquisition over the line.

Elsewhere in retail, Jaeger was teetering on the brink with Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill frontrunner to buy the embattled fashion retailer and documents filed by MP revealed that the pensions black hole at Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia has ballooned.

Quote of the day

“We are bringing back to high streets the kind of clothing that was once loved”

– Andy Bond on the launch of fashion brand Pep & Co in Poundland, which is adopting a multi-price stance.

Today in numbers


The price ber bottle of Majestic Wine’s first entry-level own label range


Arcadia’s pension scheme deficit

Tomorrow’s agenda

It’s a busy day tomorrow as Asos unveils its interim results, Topps Tiles gives a half-year trading update and Kantar and Nielsen publish the latest grocery figures. 

Gemma Goldfingle, features editor