Tesco has published its Trading update for Q3: 13 weeks to 28 November 2020, and Christmas Trading: 6 weeks to 9 January 2021.
A strong UK sales performance was sustained into the third quarter with like-for-like growth of 6.7%, accelerating to 8.1% at Christmas following improved customer metrics across all areas. The performance was market-leading for every week of the Christmas period with its simple, great value offer and focus on safety resonating well with customers.
UK sales grew across all formats, channels and categories. Online sales growth was particularly marked at over +80% which equates to nearly £1bn extra sales over the 19-week period. Order numbers after Christmas continued to grow, and the group exceeded its all-time records for both home deliveries and click & collect last week.
The performance included the benefit of attracting nearly 100,000 new Delivery Saver subscribers taking the total to over 680,000. Large store sales also grew strongly as customers favoured larger, less frequent shopping trips.
UK sales performance over Christmas was driven by food including a 14% increase in sales of Finest* products as customers looked for more opportunities to treat themselves as part of their festive shop.
Tesco catered for all diets with its largest ever festive range of free-from, vegan and vegetarian products. Sales of plant-based products increased strongly including growth of more than 90% in our Plant Chef range in the run up to Christmas.
The firm's comprehensive preparations and strong relationships with suppliers have enabled it to maintain strong levels of availability through the initial Brexit transition period.
Tesco's wholesale subsidiary, Booker saw sales over the 19-week period grew by 12.4% including a c.14% contribution from Best Food Logistics which was acquired in early March.
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.'