Close Menu

Tesco and M&S continue strong Christmas

Tesco and M&S continued the string of promising Christmas trading results that have been released this week.

Tesco saw like-for-like sales across in the UK rise 0.7% over the Christmas period, with food sales up 1.3%, and transactions rising 2.1% as it regained customers, it reported this morning.

The UK growth driven by fresh food sales it said, with third quarter sales, up 1.8% showed the first market share gain since 2011. However international sales fell 1.2%, which Tesco attributed to last year’s strong sales.

Chief Executive David Lewis said the retailer was “well-placed” to become “more competitive for customers, simpler for colleagues, and an even better partner for our suppliers”, plans outlined in October.

Meanwhile M&S saw UK food and drink sales up 5.6%, with like-for-likes up 0.6% in the 13 weeks to 31 December, ahead of its total UK figure of 4.5%. This was boosted by a longer build up, with Christmas falling on a Sunday.

In November, the retailer announced it would boost the number of food stores, and chief executive Steve Rowe said he had been pleased with customers’ response to the changes.

“Our Food business continues to grow market share with customers recognising our product as special and different. Our Simply Food store pipeline remains strong,”he said.

Alcohol was one of the biggest winners at Christmas, rising 5.7% according to the latest update from Nielsen, behind only confectionery, up 9.5%.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight said shoppers had left shopping late this year due to the timing of Christmas Day, causing a 22% surge in sales in the week ending on Christmas Eve, compared to the same week last year, to £5.9 billion. But takings at the tills over the four week Christmas trading period, ending 31stDecember were the highest since 2012, up +3.3% compared to the same period a year ago.

“The remarkable buoyancy in shoppers spending freely in the final two weeks of the year to enjoy the festivities was good news for retailers considering the consumer head winds expected in 2017 with the return of cost price inflation – after three years of deflation – plus the ongoing uncertainty about the impact of Brexit on UK grocery sales,” he said.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No