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In other news: Tesco Booker merger, and Land Securities on store and digital retailing

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Tesco Booker deal looks set for competition approval

The merger between Tesco and Booker first mooted in January looks set to get approval from the Competition and Markets Authority. The CMA’s inquiry panel into the subject has given a provisional unconditional approval, depending on further evidence and feedback, of the move to bring together Booker’s wholesaling capabilities with the UK’s leading supermarket.

Today Simon Polito, chair of the inquiry group, said: “Millions of people use their local supermarket or convenience store to buy their groceries or essentials. Strong competition in the market ensures that shoppers can choose the best deal for them.

“Our investigation has found that existing competition is sufficiently strong in both the wholesale and retail grocery sectors to ensure that the merger between Tesco and Booker will not lead to higher prices or a reduced service for supermarket and convenience shoppers.”

Here’s our analysis of the multichannel aspects of this deal when it was first put forward.

Land Securities on digital commerce and innovation

At a time when shopper numbers are falling, it’s interesting to hear developer Land Securities’ take on how in-store retail is faring. Land Securities said, in half-year results to September 30, that footfall in its shopping centres, which include Bluewater in Kent, Trinity Leeds and St David’s Cardiff, was down by 1.8%, compared to the national benchmark of 2.7%, but that same centre non-food retail sales were up by 1.1% on last year – the same as the national benchmark including online sales, and ahead of the national benchmark of -1.1%, not including online.

It said it was focusing firmly on the customer experience in retail, introducing digital innovations such as smart parking, and a new online shopping portal for Bluewater. Looking forward, it said: “Consumers and retailers continue to face an uncertain outlook as rising costs put pressure on disposable incomes and retail margins. Achieving rental growth will be challenging while these conditions continue, but we believe the best destinations will be more resilient as they enable retailers to develop and deliver their multichannel offer, and to engage with their customers.”

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