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£1 billion spent more than last year during Christmas period

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Kantar Worldpanel says that £1,054 was the average spend by households over the 12-week Christmas period to the 31 December.

The figures show supermarket sales increased in value by 3.8%. £1 billion pounds more than 2016 was spent during this period with a staggering £747 million being spent on the 22 December alone.

In terms of being the UK’s fastest-growing retailers, there is nothing to separate Aldi and Lidl, both growing sales by 16.8% year-on-year. Tesco was the fastest-growing of the big four supermarkets with an increase in sales of 3.1%.

Asda and Morrisons grew 2.2% and 2.1% in sales, respectively.

Online supermarket sales enjoyed their best Christmas yet (up 4.9% year-on-year).

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UK supermarkets report positive Christmas trading results

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There is good news for Tesco, M&S and Morrisons as Christmas sales figures and Kantar market share data have been released.

Tesco has reported a 0.7% rise in the UK, as CEO Dave Lewis explained: “We are very encouraged by the sustained strong progress that we are making across the group. In the UK, we saw our eighth consecutive quarter of volume growth and delivered a third successful Christmas.

“Our fresh food ranges proved particularly popular, outperforming the market with great quality, innovative new products and even more affordable prices.”

Marks and Spencer is also celebrating, as its sales for the 13 weeks to the end of the year have risen by 4.5% in the UK; 1.3% on a like-for-like basis. I am pleased with the customer response we have seen to the changes we are making in line with our plan for the business,” said CEO Steve Rowe.

In Clothing & Home, better ranges, better availability and better prices helped to improve our performance in a difficult marketplace. We also continued to substantially reduce discounting, including over Black Friday.

Our Food business continues to grow market share, with customers recognising our product as special and different. Our Simply Food store pipeline remains strong.

As we look forward, our Q4 reported numbers will be adversely affected by sale timing and a later Easter.”

Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have also reported better-than-expected news for the period.

Meanwhile, analysts Kantar have revealed the latest market share for the supermarket sector, headed again by Tesco (28.2%, down 0.1%), Sainsbury’s (16.7%, down 0.3%) and Asda (16.2%, down 15.5%).

Year-on-year market growth has been helped by comparisons to a weaker Christmas in 2015, but sales were also buoyed by strong consumer appetite for festive celebration after a turbulent year, explained Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight. “Shoppers spent £480 million more at the tills than in 2015, leading to record sales for the Christmas period.”

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Tesco pulls Unilever products in pricing row

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Unilever products have been removed from Tesco website after Brexit symptom pricing row

Tesco has pulled dozens of Unilever products from sale on its website after a disagreement on pricing. The consumer goods supplier wanted to raise prices to counteract the effect of the sterling slump and a standoff had developed with retailer Tesco.

The Guardian reported Unilever wanted to raise prices by about 10%. Unilever wanted to implement the price change across a wide range of goods stocked in the big four supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – in order to offset the higher cost of imported commodities, two people with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

As of last night Unilever products including Marmite spread, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Lynx body spray and PG Tips tea were no longer available on Tesco’s website, but the shortage had not yet affected stores, a Tesco spokesman said.

Shares in Tesco were down 1.6% while Unilever was down 1.4%.