CHESHUNT, England — British retailer Tesco last week said its same-store sales for the six-week period that ended Jan. 6 were up 5.9%, driven by strong gains in organics and premium products.
The chain, which is making plans to begin opening stores in the U.S. Southwest later this year, said sales of organic foods rose 39%, and sales of its “Tesco Finest” high-end meat and poultry products rose 55% in the period. Internet sales were up more than 30% during the six-week span, to nearly $300 million.
Other British retailers also reported strong same-store sales for the holiday period, led by William Morrison, up 6.3%. J. Sainsbury posted same-store sales gains of 5.7% for the 12-week period that ended Dec. 30.
Tesco said its total sales for the six weeks that ended Jan. 6 were up 9.9.%, including gasoline. Excluding gas, sales rose 5.9%, the company said. It drove holiday sales with low prices on certain apparel items and general merchandise like DVDs and flat-screen televisions, according to reports.
The reports said the company boosted its market share in the United Kingdom to 31.4% in the fourth quarter, far outpacing its nearest rivals, J. Sainsbury and Wal-Mart's Asda chain.
Tesco also said it was preparing to lower prices on 200 items.