Tesco delivers best sales growth for three years

Tesco had its best year-on-year sales figures for over three years, according to the latest Nielsen retail performance data, released today.

For the 12 weeks to October 8, 2016, the amount of money Tesco took at the tills increased by 1.4% versus the same period last year. The last time the increase was higher than that was during the 12 weeks to September 14, 2013 (+2.3%).

This was also only the fourth period (out of 39) since September 2013 that the retail chain has had a year-on-year increase in total sales.

“Tesco was the only one of the ‘Big Four’ to see a year-on-year increase and has started to attract new shoppers again, with two thirds of households visiting them in the last four weeks,” said Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins.

“They are also now well placed to benefit from the ‘little-and-often’ mode of shopping behaviour which we see as a key driver of future growth across the entire industry.”

Mr Watkins (pictured above) also said that the past month has been a good period for the UKs leading supermarkets, overall, with the four weeks to October 8 being the third consecutive month of growth in both money taken at the till and volume of goods sold, albeit with both metrics climbing just 0.1% above 2015 figures.

“Industry growth slowed in mid-September as the heatwave ended but picked up again as the warm and dry weather returned, contributing to a sales growth of 1.8% for the week ending October 8,” he said. “This is the best we’ve seen since mid-July.”

His final comments, when viewed from a farmer perspective, were less encouraging, however.

In addition to noting that the supermarkets’ new sales momentum had been driven by further price cuts, he said that he expected the supermarket price war to continue keeping retail prices in check for the time being. He also commented that food sales through the major outlets will continue to come under “increasing pressure” from the discounters and, now, Amazon.

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