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Monday newspaper round-up: Retailers, John Lewis, Rolls-Royce

(Sharecast News) - Retailers are facing a tough new year as weak consumer demand is expected to combine with a barrage of increased costs, including the higher minimum wage. Shoppers are likely to keep their spending on pause during the first months of 2024, according to forecasts published today by the Retail Think Tank, a group of industry experts who analyse the health of the sector, as mounting mortgage and rental costs weigh on consumer confidence. - Guardian One of the largest UK pension and insurance firms has opened the door to backing US-style mega-bonuses for London listed companies despite fears that executive pay is fuelling inequality and encouraging "short-term risk taking". Legal & General Investment Management has updated its pay policy to say there is room for the "necessary flexibility" needed to attract the best talent. It acknowledges "an increased push" by UK companies towards "remunerations structures that are more closely aligned to US-style pay". - Guardian

John Lewis has been forced to deny that its plans to build a 24-storey building in the suburbs of London will "loom" over nearby houses in a row over a project dubbed the "Waitrose Tower". Property experts hired by the department store have argued that the design of the proposed residential tower on top of its Waitrose supermarket in Bromley, south east London, means visibility would be "often fleeting and the buildings only glimpsed". - Telegraph

Rolls-Royce is in talks with Ukraine's biggest private power company to build a string of mini nuclear power plants in the country, The Telegraph can reveal. DTEK, which is part of billionaire businessman Rinat Akhmetov's industrial group, has held early discussions with Rolls about developing small modular reactors (SMRs) at sites currently operated by coal power stations. - Telegraph

Sir Tom Hunter has reiterated his backing for THG, calling it "world-class" even as activist investors call for the company to be broken up. The Scottish entrepreneur said he had added to his holding in the fitness and beauty group, led by Matt Moulding, when its share price dipped below 50p nearly a year ago. THG shares have since risen by more than 50 per cent and were trading at more than 86p last week, although they were floated at 500p in 2020. - The Times

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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