Retail news round-up on October 20, 2015: Food firms experiencing ‘significant’ financial distress down by 5% and Tesco cuts transit time to lower food waste.

Retail Week Breakfast Briefing

Food retailers in ‘significant’ financial distress fall by 5% in third quarter

Food retailing companies experiencing ‘significant’ financial distress dropped by 5% to 5,002 firms in the third quarter.

This marked the first fall since the second quarter of 2013, according to figures from the Begbies Traynor Red Flag Alert.

Food and drink manufacturers also reported their first decline of firms in “significant” financial distress in over two years. The number fell by 4% to 1,553 companies during the last quarter.

Since the second quarter of 2013, the number of grocery suppliers in “significant” financial distress has increased by 147%.

Julie Palmer, partner and retail expert at Begbies Traynor, said: “While the UK grocery sector is not out of the woods yet, our latest quarterly findings indicate that it is seeing the first green shoots of recovery.”

Tesco alters supply chain to cut food waste

Tesco has cut down the transit time for fruit and vegetables in a bid to reduce food waste, The Guardian reported.

The latest move is set to benefit shoppers as the produce would stay fresh for up to two days longer as a result of the grocer scrapping a food packaging stage within its supply chain.

“For millions of our customers this move will mean having up to an extra two days in which to enjoy some of the most popular fruit and vegetables”, said Matt Simister, commercial director of food at Tesco.

“The extra days of freshness will particularly benefit customers who are pressed for time and will mean they are less likely to throw away food.”