Tesco shoppers trading down to own label products, frozen food -CEO

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FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a face mask pushes a shopping cart at a Tesco supermarket in Hatfield

LONDON (Reuters) – British shoppers are trading down to own label products and frozen food, and buying less non-food goods, as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, the head of Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco said on Wednesday.

“We are seeing more frequent shops, smaller basket sizes and less shopping online,” Ken Murphy told reporters.

He said that was partially expected as a result of a post-pandemic return to normal trading and as people increasingly stick to a budget when shopping.

“We’ve also seen people trade down to our own brand propositions and we’ve seen some trade (move) from fresh to frozen.”

Murphy also highlighted a reduction in general merchandise and clothing sales. However, he noted sales levels in those categories last year were elevated by the pandemic.

Earlier, Tesco forecast full-year profit towards the lower end of its previous guidance.

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(Reporting by James Davey and Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton)