Tesco posts “weak” UK sales but buoyed by price cuts

Tesco has posted a “weak” sales performance in the UK in its latest quarter, blaming rising living costs and subdued demand for non-food items.

TescoClubcard

Sales at stores open for a year or more, excluding fuel and VAT, dipped 0.9% in the 13 weeks to 26 November.

“Stronger” food sales were offset by depressed demand for electronics and entertainment products, the supermarket says.

The fall in UK sales is the fourth consecutive quarterly decline and matches the 0.9% dip registered in the previous quarter.

The supermarket hopes the £500m worth of price cuts it launched in September – which sees the price of 3,000 products reduced – will increase footfall and ultimately offset the impact lowering prices has on margins.

Philip Clarke, Tesco group chief executive, claims it will be able to “demonstrate that volumes are increasing and that customers are increasingly turning to us.”

A report from Kantar earlier this week found that the supermarket’s “price drop” attracted an additional 346,000 shoppers in the three months to 30 November.

Despite the UK sales dip, Tesco says that group sales increased by 7.2% in the period, driven by what Clarke described as “pleasing” performances from stores in central Europe and US business Fresh and Easy.

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