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Thu 12th Jan 2017 - Update: Tesco and Booker Group trading, operators sign for Waterloo station scheme
Tesco reports strong Christmas as it sees first quarterly market share gain since 2011: Tesco has reported UK like-for-like sales rose 0.7% in the six weeks to 7 January 2017 having seen its eighth consecutive quarter of growth. UK like-for-like sales were up 1.8% in the 13 weeks to 26 November 2016 as the company saw its first quarterly market share gain since 2011. Chief executive Dave Lewis said: “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. Internationally, we have continued to focus on improving our offer for customers in challenging market conditions. We are well placed against the plans we shared in October to become more competitive for customers, simpler for colleagues, and an even better partner for our suppliers, whilst creating long-term value for our shareholders. I would like to thank all of our colleagues for everything they have done to serve our customers brilliantly over this very busy period.” The company added: “Like-for-like sales growth in the combined UK & Republic of Ireland business over the 19-week period was 1.4%, representing a fourth consecutive reported period of growth. UK volumes rose by 1.1%, and transactions were up 2.1% as more customers chose to shop with us. We have worked hard throughout the period – in collaboration with our supplier partners – to minimise the impact on our customers of the inflationary pressures that have started to emerge in the market. As a result, while deflation has eased, the price of a typical basket remains nearly 7% cheaper than in September 2014. We will continue to do all that we can to ensure that we offer our customers the best possible prices. UK like-for-like sales grew by 1.8% in the third quarter and we grew market share for the first time since 2011. We saw the largest increase to date in the number of customers recommending us as a preferred place to shop. We maintained positive like-for-like sales growth into the Christmas period, building on last year’s strong performance. Customers responded well to our seasonal product offering, with particularly good growth across our core Christmas grocery and fresh ranges, including a 24% increase in party food sales and an 18% increase in ‘Free From’ sales. These ranges contributed to an outperformance of the market in volume growth in all food categories.”

Three operators sign for Waterloo station retail scheme: Three operators have signed to open sites at the new Leake Street Arches retail scheme below Waterloo station in London. The UK’s first Italian craft beer pub, The Italian Job will open its first central London venue at the 23,250 square foot scheme – its fourth site in total – after agreeing a deal with London and Continental Railways (LCR). The second tenant is 175-capacity music venue Aures, which claims to be the UK’s first custom-built acoustic event space. Squint Opera, the operator of the Doodle Bar in Bermondsey, will also take a unit, for what it describes as “a collaboration between London’s most exciting chefs, artists, musicians and producers”. LCR said it is also close to signing a French bistro, which hopes to launch its first London restaurant at the scheme when it opens in the summer. LCR development manager Duko Frankhuizen told Property Week: “It’s exciting to work with such unique brands and to contribute to the regeneration of the area by opening up unused spaces.” The arches were formerly home to a bonded whisky warehouse and are located next to London’s largest legal graffiti wall in the Leake Street Tunnel. They are part of the wider 135,000 square foot redevelopment of the former Eurostar platforms at Waterloo by LCR, the Department for Transport and Network Rail. Union Street Partners advised LCR on the signings.

Booker Group reports non-tobacco like-for-like sales up 5.1% in third quarter: Wholesaler Booker Group has reported non-tobacco like-for-like sales grew 5.1% in the 16 weeks to 30 December 2016. Group non-tobacco sales rose by 4.8% as tobacco sales declined by 1.3% with tobacco like-for-likes down 1.0%. As a result, total sales were up 2.9% and like-for-likes were up 3.2%. The company stated: “Both the catering and retail sides of Booker Group made good progress. Premier continues to grow and Budgens and Londis are performing well. Internet sales increased by 10% to £333m (excluding Budgens and Londis) and Booker India continues to make progress. Booker Group remains on course to meet expectations for the year ending 24 March 2017.” Chief executive Charles Wilson added: “Booker Group continues to make good progress with like-for-like non tobacco sales up 5.1%. Our plans to focus, drive and broaden Booker Group are on track. Budgens and Londis are making a solid contribution to the group. We continue to help our retail, catering and small business customers prosper through improving our choice, prices and service.”

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