Tesco clothing sales fall 20% in lockdown
Tesco issued a Q1 trading statement on Friday and said that clothing sales in the 13 weeks to May 30 plunged as much as 20% as its shoppers shifted their buying habits to essential items.
The supermarkets giant was able to continue selling its fashion offer in its physical shops, as well as online, during the lockdown given that its major focus is on essential goods such as foods and all its stores remained open.
But its customers were clearly less interested in discretionary purchases during the coronavirus crisis and although food sales grew by 12%, unnecessary goods fared much worse.
That said, following “a sharp initial reduction”, sales in general merchandise recovered through the quarter with some categories, such as toys, home, stationery and electricals, growing strongly year-on-year, “as customers increasingly looked to add these items to their weekly shop”.
That was unsurprising given that furloughed consumers were spending much more time in their homes, more time with their children and of those that hadn’t been furloughed, many were also working from home.
Overall, the company said that group sales rose 7.9% to £13.38 billion. Looking just at its supermarkets, they rose 8.7% in the UK to £9.912 billion and 20.5% in the Republic of Ireland to £697 million. Central Europe excluding Poland (which is being sold) rose 3.9% to £968 million.
UK online sales rose 48.5% (and 90% in May), while Ireland was up 50.9% and Europe up 106.3%.
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