Tesco has reported a 0.4% rise in like-for-like sales for the 19 weeks to 4 January.
The supermarket giant said like-for-like sales for its UK stores during the third quarter period to 23 November fell by 0.4%.
However, that improved in the Christmas trading period, measured as the six weeks to 4 January, when comparable sales grew by 0.1%.
Simon Underwood, business recovery partner at accountancy firm, Menzies LLP said, “More uninspiring festive trading figures from the big players today, M&S and Tesco with both reporting small increases in like-for-like sales in the run up to Christmas. Nevertheless, they will be pleased that sales have remained positive.
“The figures we have seen this year demonstrate how much things have changed during this peak trading season, with Black Friday sales increasingly outperforming the days before Christmas. December 2019 was also ‘special’ due to the timing of the general election, which clearly had an impact on consumer spending.
“Post-election, the improved political stability is likely translate into a bounce in sales – but how much and for how long? One of the big questions for retailers must be, does the Great British consumer have anything more to give in 2020 or are spending priorities changing, with a focus on reducing personal debt and increasing savings.
“Retailers should prepare for another year of restructuring, renegotiation’s and careful cash management.”