Tuesday newspaper round-up: Walmart, hospitality, Unaoil, Selfridges

Major retailers are having to offload Christmas trees for £1 or less after shoppers shied away from UK high streets and retail centres in the last weekend before Christmas. B&Q has cut the price of its fresh trees – some costing £49 or more – to £1 or less at stores around the country. One shopper posted a picture on social media of trees priced as little as 10p in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. – Guardian
Walmart illegally dumps more than 1 million batteries, aerosol cans of insect killer and other products, toxic cleaning supplies, electronic waste, latex paints and other hazardous waste into California landfills each year, state prosecutors have alleged. In a lawsuit announced on Monday, the California attorney general, Rob Bonta, accused the retail giant of failing to properly dispose of discarded or returned goods. – Guardian

City traders toasting another successful year would normally pile into pubs and bars on the weekend before Christmas. But this year the wood-panelled rooms in pubs across London fell silent as revellers stayed away – so much so, that some were forced to shut their doors. Clive Watson, chief executive of parent company City Pub Group, has closed venues that survive on business from office workers after the Government’s encouragement to work from home triggered an exodus from the City. – Telegraph

The Serious Fraud Office is facing another battle to defend its reputation after judges condemned the agency’s prosecution of several former oil industry executives. Lawyers for Paul Bond, one of four men jailed in the Unaoil case, are poised to appeal against the 69-year-old’s conviction. A similar verdict against Ziad Akle was quashed earlier this month. – Telegraph

A £4 billion takeover of Selfridges by Central Group, of Thailand, and Signa Group, of Austria, is close to being announced, The Times has learnt. A sale of the department stores group by the Canadian Weston family could be announced as early as this week as both sides try to seal a deal before the new year. – The Times

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