The UK's largest retailer, Tesco, has reported a 2.3 per cent like-for-like drop in sales in the UK for the seven weeks ending January 7th.
It's the chain's worst UK performance in two decades.
The numbers are in contrast to Tesco's best ever international performance, with total group sales climbing four per cent excluding petrol. And UK online sales were very strong, climbing 14 per cent across food and non-food.
The UK results are particularly disappointing considering Tesco's huge investment in its ‘The Big Price Drop' campaign.
"In a challenging economic environment, we made good progress internationally but despite record sales, we are disappointed with our seasonal trading performance in the UK, chief executive Philip Clarke stated.
Clothing and electrical had a very strong second half to the year, with tabelts and e-readers proving the biggest hit.
In contrast, rival Sainsbury's enjoyed a record-breaking festive period, with underlying sales climbing 2.1 per cent. Morrisons had previously reported a 0.7 per cent growth in sales.