Tesco has posted an 8.1% rise in sales for the 6 weeks to 9 January 2021.
As lockdown restrictions tightened over the festive period, the supermarket saw a surge in sales. Over the last nineteen weeks, online sales surged by 80%.
Ken Murphy, Tesco’s chief executive, said: “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.”
Despite the growth in sales, the supermarket has also estimated a rise in Covid-19 costs from £725m in October to £810m.
Sales in the Tesco Finest range were up by 14%, whilst sales in vegetarian and vegan foods also jumping.
“We supported customers with timely promotions including our festive 5 vegetable offer, ‘3 for 2’ party food and 25% off 6+ bottles of wine. We catered for all diets with our largest ever festive range of free-from, vegan and vegetarian products,” said the supermarket.
“Sales of plant-based products increased strongly including growth of more than +90% in our 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.”
Commenting on the latest Tesco results, Chris Daly, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, said:
“Tesco has followed its Big Six rivals with strong sales growth over the Christmas period. And while the short term profits from these increased sales will be held back by the costs associated with COVID-19, including establishing its online offer – doubling its delivery slots, and creating thousands of new jobs to meet increased demand – it is better placed to succeed long-term than its competition.
“Tesco has outpaced its rivals when it comes to building brand trust; it was one of the first brands to launch a campaign promoting its social-distancing measures at the start of the Covid pandemic, and pivoted quickly to refresh its popular ‘Food love stories’ towards lockdown inspired tales.
“Tesco’s marketers now have a huge opportunity to leverage their heritage status and the customer loyalty built up during the pandemic to navigate the changing landscape, and sustain a long-term relationship that holds value for customers and shareholders,” he added.