Tesco tills ring for Christmas with 4.9 per cent sales hike

TESCO has had its best Christmas in three years after slashing prices and offering double Clubcard points to get customers through the door.

Britain’s biggest supermarket chain said yesterday that like-for-like sales at its UK stores jumped by 4.9 per cent during December and early January.

Tesco reported a 35 per cent surge in sales of champagne, with toys, electrical goods, and its Finest food range all performing strongly over the last six weeks.

Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said: “We’ve delivered a very strong performance over the Christmas and New Year period.

“It was a great Christmas for Tesco customers with an excellent seasonal range in store and online.

“The Tesco team delivered a great shopping trip for customers and I’d like to thank all our staff and also our suppliers for their tremendous efforts, particularly during the freezing weather.”

Tesco said that Clubcard redemptions had boosted like-for-like growth by 0.7 per cent as shoppers were lured by double points.

The chain exceeded City expectations with a sales rise of under four per cent expected.

Tesco’s total sales, including its stores in Europe, Asia and North America, were 7.5 per cent higher. This included a 35 per cent surge in sales at its US Fresh & Easy chain.

The Tesco sales figures follow positive data from rival chain Sainsbury’s which also beat City forecasts last week with a 4.2 per cent rise in like-for-like sales. John Lewis and House of Fraser both reported their best festive sales ever.

Meanwhile Tesco is expected to go head-to-head with the likes of Halifax and Barclays with its own current account and mortgage products in the next 12 months.