Tesco ups focus on nursery products

Sales trickle up as grocer releases Q3 interim management statement; could pull out of US.
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Tesco has announced plans to place a greater emphasis on nursery, clothing and home products in its supermarkets.

The news comes as Group sales for the 13 weeks ending November 24th 2012 increased by 2.4 per cent.

UK total sales during the quarter grew by 1.7 per cent. However, like-for-like sales, excluding VAT and petrol, dropped by 0.6 per cent.

A section of Tesco's Q3 interim management statement read: "We are renewing our efforts to deliver sustainable, profitable growth in the [general merchandise] part of the business.

"This includes stronger ranging, pricing and promotional positioning, together with a further reallocation of space away from categories such as consumer electronics and home entertainment. 

"This will enable us to give even greater focus to categories such as clothing, nursery and home, which are delivering better top and bottom line growth."

In the United States, Tesco's Fresh & Easy like-for-like sales performance fell below two per cent. The grocer is conducting a strategic review of its US business, "with all options under consideration".

Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said: "I am pleased with the performance of our food business in the UK.

"Our general merchandise performance overall in the UK was not good enough, and we are renewing our efforts to deliver sustainable, profitable growth in this part of the business.

"We have seen a further weakening in consumer spending in Central Europe, although the effects of this have been partly offset by a better quarter in Asia.

"I am looking forward to the important seasonal period ahead, and am confident in our plans to deliver further improvements in our shopping trip for customers."

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