Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tesco Faces Tough Christmas as the Competition Gets Hotter

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tesco Faces Tough Christmas as the Competition Gets Hotter

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON ENGLISH

TESCO managed only a small rise in sales in the last quarter, suggesting its dominance of the UK grocery market may be on the wane, and Christmas will be tough.

Facing stronger competition than ever from rivals such as Asda and Morrisons, the supermarkets juggernaut is slowing somewhat.

Like-for-like sales were up just 2% in the three months to 22 November, on the face of it the worst performance by any of the big players.

Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said: "We are pleased with our progress but we are also realistic. The current economic climate and the strain this is putting on consumers everywhere is something that all businesses are feeling, including ours." Tesco denies claims that customers are defecting at record rates, saying more people than ever are using its stores. It argues that by predicting a recession was coming, and moving to discount goods early, it intentionally took a hit to sales growth. …

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