Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Morrisons reveal weak Christmas trading

Tesco's UK like for like sales drop 2.4 per cent, while Morrisons sees a 5.6 per cent fall in sales
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Tesco has revealed that it experienced weak trading over the crucial Christmas period.

Britain's biggest supermarket chain announced 'worse than expected Christmas sales' in the six weeks to January 5th, as sales fell 2.8 per cent, with UK like for like sales down 2.4 per cent.

The Guardian reports that the grocer joins other high street names such as Morrisons and Marks and Spencer in a 'disappointing Christmas period.'

Tesco's chief executive, Philip Clarke, said: "Clearly Christmas was disappointing."

The firm had expected full year profit, but admitted these expectations had been reduced by between £50m and £150m since its last update in December.

While the company's online and convenience store revenue had risen, it was the group's larger out of town stores that had seen the drop in sales.

Meanwhile, Morrisons has issued a profit warning following a "very disappointing Christmas performance" that resulted in a 5.6 per cent fall in sales at branches in the six weeks to January 5th.

Morrisons' chief executive, Dalton Philips believes the reason for the fall is shoppers turner to discount stores and the likes of Aldi and Lidl.

Philips said: "In a very tough market our sales performance over Christmas was disappointing."

Adding to the disappointment, Marcs and Spencer chief executive, Marc Bolland has blamed the unusually warm weather in October for the firm's own sales fall in non-food items in the three months to December 28th.

While the firm reports that business improved over Christmas, helped by discounts, it could not make up the lost ground.

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