Tesco experienced its best year-on-year sales figures for over three year. In the 12 weeks ending 8 October 2016, the amount of money Tesco took at the tills increased 1.4% versus the same period last year. The last time the increase was higher was the 12 weeks ending 14 September 2013 (+2.3%). This was only the fourth period (out of 39) since then that Tesco 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. They are 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.
It’s been a good period for the UK’s leading supermarkets, overall. The four weeks ending 8 October was the third consecutive month of growth in both money taken at the till and volume of goods sold – both metrics up 0.1%¹ versus the same period a year ago.
Industry growth slowed mid-September as the heatwave ended but picked up again as the warm and dry weather returned, contributing to sales growths of +1.8% for the week ending 8th October. This is the best we’ve seen since mid-July and this new momentum has been driven by further price cuts. Whilst currency related cost price increases are casting a shadow over next year, the supermarket price war will keep retail prices in check for the time being. Retailers with a multi-format or multi-channel proposition are well placed to gain new shoppers and incremental spend, particularly when food sales are under increasing pressure from the discounters and, now, Amazon.
All figures are from Nielsen Homescan Total Till unless otherwise stated
¹Source: Nielsen Scantrack Grocery Multiples