Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis today said the supermarket was “fixing the fundamentals of shopping” as it looks to woo back shoppers to its business. That meant a move away from “short-term couponing” to lower prices and more simplified ranges, both online and off.
“Customers,” he said, “are experiencing better service, better availability and lower, more stable prices and are buying more things, more often, at Tesco.”
His comments came as the supermarket, a Leading retailer in the IRUK 500, reported like-for-like sales – the measure that strips out the effect of store openings and closures – that were 1.3% down in the first quarter of its 2015/16 financial year, compared to the same time last year. Like-for-likes in the UK and Ireland were 1.5% down in the 13 weeks to May 30, while international sales were 1% down. While the grocer is still losing sales, the rate of decline is now slowing. Total sales excluding VAT and fuel, meanwhile, were 1% down across the group.
Tesco says that reflects positive response from customers to the investments it is making in the business, both online and off. They include price cuts, reviews of the range aimed at simplifying the offer. As a result, it said in the trading statement, it is seeing “record levels of availability in-store and online and a continued improvement in customer ratings for service and colleague helpfulness.”