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M&S food sales dip over Christmas

12 January 2018

Supermarket giant Tesco has emerged as a festive victor of the Big Four, reporting a steep rise in sales over the Christmas trading period.

While supermarkets generally enjoyed robust food sales, it was otherwise volatile with many clothing chains resorting to heavy discounting to offset tougher trading.

Just today, fashion retailers announce sales revenues 10-25% higher over the Christmas period, as companies both young (Boohoo) and old (Ted Baker) see bumper demand, further projecting the image of the cash conscious United Kingdom consumer wanting bang for their buck, especially at yuletide.

Like its discounter peer Aldi, Lidl also reported rampant sales growth over Christmas leading it to make the claim that it is the "fastest growing supermarket" in Britain.

United Kingdom retailer Marks & Spencer has posted a 1.4% decline in like-for-like sales in its home market in its third quarter, with Food sales down 0.4% and Clothing & Home sales down 2.8%.

Supermarkets Morrisons and Sainsbury's also suffered in the wake of the slump, drifting down 3.3p to 226.2p and 5.3p to 248.6p respectively.

Like-for-like sales at Tesco grew by 6% for the 19 weeks to 6 January 2018.

Sales rose by 15% to record highs in December as it welcomed more shoppers through the door than ever before, with the final Friday before Christmas proving to be its "strongest ever" day of trading. "As a result, full year guidance remains unchanged".

Marks & Spencer has attributed unseasonal weather to a fall in sales across its clothing and home division over the third quarter.

On the other side of the high street, it was a similar story for Marks & Spencer, this morning's worst performing FTSE 100 stock.

This helped it notch up a 2.3% rise in third quarter comparable sales.

While inflationary pressures remained a problem for many United Kingdom food firms, Tesco said it had continued to work with its supplier partners to help mitigate the impact on its customers.

Over Christmas, sales of fresh food brands and the Tesco finest range were particularly strong.

"We have continued to outperform the market throughout this period, particularly in fresh food, thanks to our most competitive offer for many years", said CEO Dave Lewis.

M&S food sales dip over Christmas