Tesco’s sales growth has slowed sharply since the easing of the latest coronavirus lockdown as people start to visit pubs and restaurants again, Britain’s biggest retailer said on Friday.
UK like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, rose 0.5 per cent in the 13 weeks to May 29, the group’s fiscal first quarter – ahead of analysts’ average forecast for a fall of 1.0 per cent, but down from growth of 8.8 per cent in the previous quarter.
Against the same quarter in 2019, before the pandemic impacted trading, UK like-for-like sales were up 9.3 per cent.
“We continued to benefit from more people eating at home, although this started to slow down through the quarter as hospitality reopened,” CEO Ken Murphy told reporters. Tesco shares were down 2.6 per cent at 0932 GMT.
Murphy said shopping habits were changing as pandemic restrictions ease, with customers visiting stores more often. Transactions were also up year-on-year as the lockdown trend of doing one big weekly shop began to reverse.
There were changes in what people were buying too.