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Tesco clothing sales rise, growth outstrips company as a whole

Tesco gave us its first-half results this morning and while the UK supermarkets giant has had its challenges in recent periods, its clothing ops appear to be going strong.

The company said “clothing performed well throughout the half with like-for-like sales [up] 3.5%.”

It also said it saw a “much stronger mix of full-price sales, reflecting the quality of the range and strength of the F&F brand” and that its Back-to-School event “was a particular highlight, with sales up 13% year-on-year.”

That’s all good news for the company with fashion being such a key growth area for supermarkets at present. And it’s especially good news given that major rival Sainsbury’s is ramping up its fashion offer with new lines and the addition of more premium product for both men and women.

We didn’t hear much else from Tesco about its plans for its fashion ranges but with these latest figures and with the company backing its womenswear with a major ad campaign at present, it’s clearly heavily committed to the category.

So what else did we learn about Tesco today? The company said that overall group sales rose 3.3% to £2.5bn and the last three months has been the seventh consecutive quarter of growth.

UK comp sales rose 2.2% (which means clothing is outstripping its other ops on the comps front). It saw strong fresh food volume growth in the UK of 1.5%, driven by ongoing improvements in its offer.

Statutory revenue was up 3.7% to £28.3bn and profit before tax rose £491m to £562m. Group operating profit before exceptional items rose 27.3% to £759m with the figure in the UK and Ireland up 21.1% to £471m.

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