Tesco’s latest financial statement shows a fall in like-for-like sales of one per cent in the 13 weeks ending May 25th.
Non-food sales have declined, and consumer electronics has been specifically singled out by CEO Philip Clarke as a sector that takes up a lot of space without creating a lot of profit.
The firm said in a statement today: “The drag on like-for-like sales growth from non-food was more significant in the first quarter than in the fourth quarter of last year. This drag continues to be driven by our disproportionate exposure to consumer electronics and, increasingly, by the consequences of implementing our accelerating general merchandise strategy, as we shift our business from low-margin, low-growth categories to higher-margin, higher-growth categories.
“We are working towards our first relaunch of a new core range of general merchandise in our smaller format stores within the coming months and this will be followed by more extensive repurposing of general merchandise and electrical space in our larger stores starting later in the year, following promising results from our initial trials.”
This cautiousness around the consumer electronics sector may translate to other supermarkets. Either way, it could be good news for computing and technology specialists.
Talking about Tesco’s decision to pull further away from consumer electronics space on Twitter, Mark Webb, head of corporate social media for Dixons Retail, said: “They have been de-emphasising for some time, so don't think we will see any significant impact. All welcome of course...”