Show Hide image

Tesco UK executive: rising costs are "real challenge" for poorer customers

Tesco's Richard Barsher claims rising prices equal a 5 per cent increase in income tax for working c

Richard Barsher, Tesco UK's chief executive, has claimed that the "inexorable rise in fuel prices", combined to increasing bills for house utilities, are equivalent to a 5 per cent increase on income tax for the poorest families.

Speaking at the Retail Week Conference in London, Barsher said that this was proving to be a "real challenge" to his customers.

He suggested that these costs are making shoppers change their purchasing habits, though he said that there was "no single soundbite" to explain these changes.

The Debenhams chief executive, Rob Templeman, explained these trends, by saying consumers are currently "looking at what they need to have, not what they want to have".

Also speaking at the conference, was Alliance boots chief executive Andy Hornby, who predicted the country would not "see consumer spending growing in the next two years".

These comments are in line with a survey published last week which showed that, last February, sales in the retail sector dropped at a faster pace than during the previous month.