Philip Clarke has vowed to put shoppers ahead of making profits, as Tesco bids to regain the initiative amid stalling UK sales.

He told attendees at this week’s annual IGD conference the recent slide in like-for-like sales at the UK’s largest supermarket was “very unusual for Tesco”. But he admitted the retailer needed to “get back in tune” with shoppers.

“Sometimes you have to put aside the pursuit of profit in the market in order to get back in tune with the nation,” he said.

“That is what the Big Price Drop and other things coming in the second half of the year are for.”

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Editor’s Comment: Tesco isn’t ‘back’. It never went away (8 October 2011)
Tesco suffers worst first half in 20 years (5 October 2011)