Tesco has experienced a slow start to the year with a drop in sales despite an increased convenience estate.
In its Q1 statement for the 13 weeks to May 25 2013, UK like-for-like sales (excluding VAT and petrol) dropped by 1.0% for the quarter. Tesco’s total sales for the same period grew by 0.1% (including petrol and VAT) while sales excluding petrol grew by 1.0%.
The grocery multiple reported an increased convenience estate, with a 1.9% growth in new net store space during the period focused mainly on convenience sites. It predicted that it will meet its target for the year of opening 1.1 million square feet of stores across all formats.
Earlier this year, Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke announced plans to focus more on convenience in 2013, hoping to improve on last year’s 120 Express and 26 One Stop new store openings.
Tesco also posted an update on its refresh programme which saw 40 Express stores relaunched during Q1, resulting in a “stronger than expected sales uplift” in these stores.