Three of the traditional powerhouses of the retail sector are all expected to report a Christmas sales slump when they publish their results this week.
Supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s are believed to have struggled over Christmas in the face of the rise of the discounters, while Marks & Spencer continues to be dragged back by its clothing sales.
Tesco’s trading update on Thursday will be accompanied by plans to sell off assets and lay off staff as it reduces its 23 UK offices, according to The Telegraph.
This week Tesco boss Dave Lewis is also expected to scrap the system of rebates and penalty fees the supermarket forces on suppliers and instead focus on a scheme based on sales volume alone.
Tesco house broker Deutsche Bank has forecast that Tesco will report a 5% slump in like-for-like sales for the quarter, to the end of November and a 4.3% sales fall over Christmas.
Meanwhile, analysts at Bernstein expect rival Sainsbury’s to post a decline in like-for-like sales of 1.8%.
Although analysts believe M&S recorded a 0.9% rise in like-for-like food sales over Christmas, they forecast a 3% decline in its general merchandise arm will drag back the retailer’s overall performance.
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