Tesco has followed rivals in reporting buoyant Christmas trading, as pandemic restrictions meant people splashed out on celebrations at home.
A strong UK sales performance was sustained into the third quarter with like-for-like growth of 6.7%, up to 8.1% at Christmas .
UK sales grew across all formats, channels and categories. Online sales growth was particularly marked at over 80% which equates to nearly £1 billion extra sales over the 19-week period. Order numbers after Christmas continued to grow, and the chain said that exceeded its all-time records for both home deliveries and click & collect last week.
UK sales performance over Christmas was driven by food including with a 14% increase in sales of Finest products as customers looked for more opportunities to treat themselves as part of their festive shop. Sales of plant-based products increased strongly including growth of more than 90% in their Plant Chef range in the run up to Christmas. General merchandise sales grew by 4% driven by strong performance in toys, home and electrical items.
Ken Murphy, Chief Executive said :
“Our focus on looking after our customers, including delivering record availability, robust safety measures and great value has enabled us to maintain strong momentum through the Christmas period, outperforming the market every week.
We delivered a record Christmas across all of our formats and channels. In response to unprecedented demand for online groceries, colleagues delivered over seven million orders containing more than 400 million individual items over the Christmas period. We’re now supporting 786,000 vulnerable customers with priority access to online slots and, as lockdown measures continue, we’ll keep doing everything we can to ensure everyone can safely get the food and essentials they need.
Our colleagues went above and beyond, rising to every challenge in the most exceptional of circumstances and I thank every one of them for this. We’re in great shape to keep delivering in 2021 and beyond.”