Retail news round-up: Sports Direct's investors planning to initiate new rules, and Bunnings dismisses zero-hour contracts for store staff.

Sports Direct’s investors to opt for new rules

Investors in Sports Direct are set to consider new rules to prevent dominant shareholders flouting boardroom standards, The Times reported.

One of the options they will consider is "to increase the minimum proportion of a company’s shares that must be freely held to qualify for a premium listing, from 25% to 50%".

Another option is "to introduce voting restrictions so that only independent shareholders can vote on the re-election of a chairman".

Shareholders are thinking about such solutions as Sports Direct abandons its promise to find an independent chairman to lead a review into its governance.

Booker launches charm offensive amid merger

Booker’s bosses are set to provide new offers this week to convince UK shopkeepers of the advantages of a merger with Tesco, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Booker’s chief executive Charles Wilson and managing director Steve Fox will address Premier convenience franchise owners at Newbury Racecourse on Wednesday.

There is a rising concern that the deal with Tesco will strangle competition in the convenience store market.

Booker supplies 5,463 Premier, Happy Shopper, Londis and Budgens convenience stores.

The shopkeepers own the properties and manage their stores on a franchise basis.

Bunnings dismisses zero-hour contracts for Homebase staff

Bunnings has decided to remove zero-hour contracts for all Homebase employees, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The company opened its first Bunnings branded warehouse St Alban’s, Hertfordshire, last week, and is planning to open at least five pilot shops by June.

Bunnings managing director in the UK and Ireland Peter Davis said that the company made this decision to “build a strong culture within the company”.

The company has also introduced the national living wage for all workers older than 18 years.

This decision has led to an average pay rise of £555 for most of its 12,000 store employees.

The company is also thinking about Homebase staff holiday entitlements to end a so-called “use it or lose it” restrictions in favour of a more favourable option.

Aldi to become UK’s fifth-largest grocery store

Aldi may overtake The Co-op to become the fifth-largest grocery store in Britain, This is Money reported.

Aldi attracts 6% of the UK’s spending on food, led by Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons, according to figures from Kantar World.

Aldi reported an increase in sales last year with an estimated £8.5bn, which has more than doubled in four years.

This month the company will open its 700th store and is planning to open another 300 by 2022 especially in the South of England.