Tesco hails record Christmas fuelled by online grocery surge

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Sales up 8% as online business booms and larger stores returning to popularity

Tesco has hailed a “record” Christmas on the back of booming online sales and customers treating themselves to festive fare, such as mince pies and fizz, from its upmarket Finest food range.The UK’s biggest supermarket said sales at stores open one year were up 8.1% over the key six-week Christmas trading period. That was a step up from its growth of 6.7% over the three months to 28 November.Panettone and pink prosecco push Lidl to record UK ChristmasRead moreKen Murphy, the Tesco chief executive, described the performance over the six weeks to 9 January as “market-leading”, with shoppers attracted by the retailer’s “simple, great value offer and focus on safety”.“We delivered a record Christmas across all of our formats and channels,” Murphy said. The “unprecedented demand for online groceries” meant the company delivered more than 7m orders containing 400m-plus items over Christmas.Sign up to the daily Business Today emailWith more shoppers turning to the web to buy their groceries, the retailer said online sales had jumped more than 80% over the 19 weeks. That equates to nearly £1bn extra sales. The retailer also highlighted that sales in its largest stores also grew strongly as customers favoured larger, less frequent shopping trips.Sales of its Finest range were up 14% over Christmas while demand for plant-based products also increased strongly, with sales of its Plant Chef range up more than 90%. General merchandise sales were also up 4% driven by a strong performance in toys, home and electrical items.With much of the hospitality industry closed in December, UK supermarkets notched up their biggest month on record, with consumers spending £11.7bn on take-home groceries, according to analysts at the research group Kantar, as coronavirus restrictions led to the closure of many restaurants, pubs and cafes during the key trading period.

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