Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tesco Reports 19.3% Comparable Sales Growth at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market For 6 Week Holiday Period

Tesco opened three new Fresh & Easy stores today, two 10,000 square-foot standard-version grocery markets in the Northern California cities of Mountain View and Brentwood, and the 3,000 square-foot Fresh & Easy Express unit pictured above, which is in Hermosa Beach, California. [Photo credit: Fresh & Easy Buzz.]

Tesco has (literally) just released (at 7 a.m in the UK) its Christmas and New Years trading statement for the six week period up to January 7, 2012.

In the just-issued statement Tesco reports strong comparable-store-sales (called like-for-like in the UK) of 19.3% for its El Segundo, California-based Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain for the six week holiday period, compared to the same period last year.

Additionally, Tesco says total sales at Fresh & Easy grew by 40.6% (actual rate) for the period, over the previous year.

The 19.3% comparable-store-sales growth number is a strong one for Fresh & Easy.

It's also the most meaningful metric of the two noted above because it measures stores that have been open for at least one year. The total sales number includes new stores that have been opened during the year.

Overall, Tesco, which has operations in 14 countries, reported an increase in group sales in the six weeks to January 7, 2012 of 5.2% including petrol (4.2% at actual exchange rates) and by 4.0% excluding petrol (2.9% at actual exchange rates), compared to the same period last year.

In the United Kingdom, which accounts for nearly 70% of Tesco's annual revenue, the retailer had negative comparable-store-sales of (1.3%) for the seven weeks up to January 7, 2012, including value added tax and excluding fuel sales, compared to the same period last year.

Excluding the value added tax and fuel sales, Tesco's UK stores suffered a a negative (2.3%) like-for-like sales decline.

The negative like-for-like sales for Tesco at home in the UK reflects strong competition from Walmart-owned Asda and Sainsbury's - the number two and three chains in the nation respectively after Tesco, which is number one - as well as from Morrisons and Waitrose, along with pressure being put on it from the deep-discount end by Aldi and Lidl, the German hard discount grocery chains that continue to expand in the UK.

Tesco launched a heavy discount program for the holidays called "The Big Price Drop," which, based on the sales growth numbers for the seven week period, doesn't appear to have been a sales booster for the retailer.

Tesco opened three new Fresh & Easy stores today - two in Northern California, in Mountain View and Brentwood in Northern California's San Francisco Bay Area - and a Fresh & Easy Express unit in the Southern California city of Hermosa Beach.

Tesco now has 187 Fresh & Easy stores in California (138), Arizona (28 units) and Nevada (21 units).

As we were the first publication of any kind to report on Sunday and early Monday, Tesco is closing 12 Fresh & Easy stores. The retailer plans to close the stores by the end of the month.

We will have more to say about Tesco's holiday sales report, particularly as it pertains to its Fresh 7 Easy chain in the U.S., upcoming. But the reporting is literally hot off the online press, so we wanted to give Fresh & Easy Buzz readers the first look.

You can view Tesco just-released holiday sales report here, which includes sales data for its divisions in Asia and Central Europe, along with some additional sales data overall.


James Sinclair said...

This is a random place for it, but Im writing this here because youve asked me about the downtown Fresno location before, and I was there earlier today.

1) No bakery. Same sample station, and no sign of construction. Odd, considering it's one of the few locations that opens at 7am.

2) One of my major complaints has been addressed. Almost every fridge has glass doors installed, so the cold air isnt wasted. Exceptions are the veggie area and the endcaps. A sign says the doors save 60% of their energy costs. The doors look very good, and didnt appear to fog up.

3) There were two protesters outside.

I peeked inside the unopened Bullard and Fresno location and it appears 100% ready to go in terms of registers, fridges, shelves etc. Full signage on store and on vertical sign by street.

Anonymous said...

O I'm sure because they were open for the 1st time on Thanksgiving it really helped those numbers. This co. is going away w/ what they promised their employees yrs ago.. "family comes first" then why work employees 6 day a week during the holidays and now be open on just about all holidays!?! So much for family time!!

Anonymous said...

They were open last Thanksgiving also. Not just this year. Don't kid yourself. Business comes first for any company. If they can make money by being open on the holidays, then they will be open on the holidays. If you don't like it, start your own business and dictate being closed on holidays. But, I have a feeling if you could make money by being open on a holiday you would do it. Don't be resentful/hypocritical because you are at the bottom of the money chain.

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

Thanks for the information James.

The Fresno store that's being closed is set to be shuttered on February 4. Having a 50% off sale there right now, in case you didn't know.