The continuing release of Christmas sales figures by leading supermarket chains includes the reporting, today, by Marks and Spencer of a strong festive performance for its food business.
M&S, who maintain a 100% commitment to British pork, bacon and sausages, according to the BPEX Porkwatch service, achieved a “record sales growth” of 17% for food sales over the Christmas week, although food business for the 13 weeks to December 27, 2014, rose by just 0.1%.
M&S chief executive, Marc Bolland, said the chain had enjoyed “a very good Christmas in food”, adding that the food division had been a “consistent performer” throughout the last quarter.
The upbeat message on food, however, contrasted with a 5.8% fall in like-for-like sales in its general merchandise division during the quarter, blamed partly on delivery issues and an “unseasonably warm autumn” which affected its clothing performance.
Christmas quarter figures from Tesco were also reported today, showing sales over the festive period down 0.3% on the same week in 2013.
Tesco, whose Porkwatch rating ranges from a 45% British sourcing commitment for bacon to 78% for sausages, suffered a 2.9% decline in overall sales during the last quarter, compared to the same period in 2013. That performance was still an improvement, however, on the 5.4% year-on-year decline suffered in the previous three months.