Tough times for Tesco

SUPERMARKETS went head to head in the run-up to Christmas in a bid to rack up the highest sales.

Bosses at Tesco, which has the biggest market share, said they were ‘disappointed’ with the supermarket giant’s seasonal sales performance.

Chief executive Philip Clarke said: “Despite record sales, we are disappointed with our seasonal trading performance in the UK.”

But other supermarkets were celebrating following record performances over the festive seasons.

Morrisons chief executive officer Dalton Philips said: “I am pleased that in a difficult trading environment we have continued to grow our business and have delivered another good performance in a very tough market.”

Sainsbury’s chief executive said it was the supermarket’s ‘best ever’ Christmas, while Asda’s chief executive Andy Clarke said: “We’ve had a strong Christmas and we’ve entered the year in a good place.”

The 12 items in our shopping basket are priced exactly the same at Tesco, apart from an offer on Tetley teabags, at £3 for 160.

Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda have all put the price of a four pack of Andrex white toilet tissue up 10p or 11p to £2.09 (£2.08 at Asda).

A new European law came into force on January 1 stating traditional battery cages were banned, and put in place minimum standards for keeping egg laying hens.

The minimum each hen must be provided with is now 750cm2 per hen, of which 600cm2 is 45cm high, a nest, a littered area for scratching and pecking, 15cm of perch and 12cm of food trough per hen and a claw shortening device.

The new law does not appear to have affected the price of eggs.

The price of six large free range eggs has dropped from £1.51 to £1.45 at Asda; stayed at £1.51 at Sainsbury’s, and gone up from £1.51 to £1.68 at Morrisons.

An 800g loaf of Warburton’s white bread went up from £1.15 to £1.35 at Sainsbury’s, bringing it in line with Morrisons and Asda, whereas the price stayed at £1.15 at Tesco.

Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco all put Tilda 1kg basmati rice on offer between £3.96 and £3.99 but it stayed at its standard price of £4.95 at Morrisons.

A 415g can of Heinz baked beams was on special offer at 50p at Asda, down from 68p.

At Morrisons, beans were down 1p from 69p but the prices remained the same at Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Other prices in our shopping basket remained fairly static.