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Tesco sees its strongest Christmas for three years

The long-awaited Tesco trading statement was released today showing the company has experienced its strongest festive trading period for three years. Like-for-like sales, excluding petrol and VAT, increased by 4.9% in the six week period ended 9th January. This is a very credible performance and one which surprised many analysts on the up side. However, is there more to this figure than meets the eye?

As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, Tesco rolled out double points on its Clubcard loyalty scheme and also forwarded discount vouchers earlier than expected so that shoppers could take advantage of the festival offers. It is believed that Clubcard purchases themselves contributed around 0.7% to the growth in overall sales which perfectly illustrates the power of the loyalty card system currently in operation in the UK supermarket sector.

Interestingly Tesco also announced a 20% increase in like-for-like online sales during the same six-week period which again illustrates the changing trends in the UK consumer market where online purchases are becoming the norm. It will be interesting to see whether Tesco is able to expand its online operation because there are fears that the off-line supermarket sector is becoming too competitive and too overcrowded.

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