Tesco’s festive LFL rise fails to reverse Q3 fall

Tesco has reported a 1.3% growth in UK like-for-like (LFL) sales for its Christmas trading period in the six weeks to 9 January.

Tesco’s Q3 results for the 13 weeks to 28 November were less good, showing a 1.5% drop in LFL sales and dragging down the figure for the whole 19-week period to a drop of 0.5%. The retailer blamed the poor results on not repeating last year’s three ‘£5 off £40’ national coupon campaigns.

The company claimed that a focus on bringing prices down, a key priority for the main supermarkets as they chase the discounters Aldi and Lidl, meant that prices were 5% cheaper “on the lines that mattered most to our customers”. Meanwhile, the popularity of its grocery home shopping service reached new heights with more orders fulfilled than ever on 22 December.

Tesco continued the overhaul of its range in Q3, completing resets on six categories including dairy, wines and spirits and impulse.

Dave Lewis, chief executive at Tesco, said: “Our Christmas performance was strong, benefiting from lower prices on an outstanding range of products. Our customer service improved materially and our colleagues went the extra mile. Put simply, we put customers at the heart of everything we did and they responded by buying more of what they needed at Tesco.

“We are continuing to focus our efforts on serving our customers a little better every day and I want to thank my colleagues across the group for their commitment, passion and energy. There is plenty more to do, but we are making good progress and are trading in line with profit expectations for the full year.”

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