Despite the poor summer weather and cautious consumers Tesco says its non-food sales remained robust and again grew significantly faster than its core business – helped by a successful first full season for Tesco Direct.
Sales growth in the UK was 9.9% in the first half with total non-food sales increasing to £3.9bn.
The retailer added that sales strengthened during the second quarter, with particularly pleasing growth in hardlines.
Consumer electronics saw very strong growth (39%), as did white goods, books, diy, furniture and textiles.
Tesco said additions to the Direct catalogue have been well received 'with order volumes up significantly on last season'.
It now has 12,000 products on-line and the catalogue range has been expanded to 7,500. It has desks in 75 stores with plans to add a further 125 by the end of the year.
It expects Tesco Direct to generate revenue in excess of £150m in the current financial year.
The strong performance of its Homeplus trial non-food stores - the most recent in Chelmsford, Staines, Bristol and Bromborough, trading from 50,000 sq ft – has encouraged it to extend the trial to a further 10 locations.
Tesco gave Dobbies a short mention only to say that it will now implement the strategy it outlined for the business at the time the offer was announced: expand more rapidly towards national coverage, use it as a platform for the group to encourage green consumption.