Tesco notes best sales boost since 2013 as long game pays off for the supermarket

Tesco has seen its best sales growth in over three years

Tesco has noted its best year-on-year sales boost since 2013, according to Neilsen's monthly supermarket sales figures.

The retail performance data reveals that the grocer was the only one of the 'Big Four' shops to see an increase over the past 12 months over the same time period.

In the 12 weeks to 8 October, the amount of money Tesco took at the tills increased by 1.4% versus the same period in 2015, the last time the increase was higher was in the three months ending 14 September 2013 when it clocked up a 2.3% boost.

Tesco has been trying to remodel its brand since BBH took over its creative account at the start of 2015, and it now looks like the long game could be paying off. Earlier this month, the retailer claimed that customer trust was at a four-year high following a damning £250m accounting scandal and a record loss in 2015. It put the turnaround down to simplifying its range and introducing new services, as well as investment in digital facilities like Scan as You Shop and its click-and-collect offering.

"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,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight. "It is 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."

The four weeks ending 8 October was the third consecutive month of growth for UK supermarkets in both money taken and volume of goods sold, with both metrics up 0.1% versus the same period a year ago.

Tesco hit the headlines last week for pushing back against Unilever after the FMCG giant attempted to raise its prices in the UK to compensate for the decline in the pound's value following the EU referendum. The dispute was swiftly resolved but its likely more challenges will emerge in the market for retailers as the details of Brexit unfold.

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