Tesco turnaround fails to halt sales slide

Tesco’s efforts to improve marketing, ranges and stores have failed to lift sales in the first three months of the financial year as it reports its third consecutive quarterly dip.

Tesco

Sales at stores open for more than a year fell 1.5% in the thirteen weeks to 26 May. Total sales, which include VAT and petrol sales increased 2.1% during the period.

Philip Clarke, Tesco CEO, unveiled a £1bn, six point plan to “Build a Better Tesco” in April, including improving marketing, products and stores.

Clarke says the supermarket’s “steady” UK performance showed “good progress on strategic priorities” and was in line with expectations.

The supermarket chain has already relaunched its Everyday Value range and ready meals and improved its Clubcard communications since its shock profit warning in January. It has also employed an additional 4,300 staff at 700 UK shops, increased staff training and refreshed more than 100 stores in an effort to improve the store experience for customers.

Clarke adds: “Tesco has performed robustly in the first quarter despite subdued consumer confidence in all our markets. We are rapidly implementing our six-point UK plan … Our customers are seeing the evidence of the changes we’re making and they’re telling us they like what they see.”

The supermarket, however, said it saw its best ever trading week outside of the Christmas period in the week running up to the Jubilee weekend taking more than £1bn in sales that will appear in its second quarter trading update.

Group sales, which include Tesco’s international business, increased by 2.2% during the three months driven by “robust” performance in Asia.

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