M&S and Tesco report mixed fortunes over Christmas

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Marks and Spencer saw sales fall over the key Christmas period, while Tesco reported record trading over the festive season.

M&S said its like-for-like revenues fell 1.4% in the 13 weeks to 30 December. Clothing and homewear fell 2.8%, while food was down 0.4%.

By contrast, Tesco’s UK sales rose 2.3% in the 19 weeks to 6 January.

The supermarket said it saw “record sales and volumes” in the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

The two retailers’ trading updates came on a day of big news for the UK’s High Street giants that also saw John Lewis release figures for the Christmas period.

John Lewis said its gross sales for the six weeks to 30 December were up 2.5% on the same period in 2016.

Waitrose supermarket, which it also owns, reported a 1.4% increase in sales.

All three major retailers alluded to difficulties in the market and tough trading conditions, with Tesco speaking of “inflationary pressures” and M&S referring to “ongoing trading pressures”.

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