UK retailer Sainsbury’s has posted a like-for-like sales increase of 1.1% (excluding fuel) for the third quarter of its financial year, the 15 weeks to 6 January.
The group said that grocery sales were up 2.3% during the period, however its online grocery (+8.2%) and convenience (+7.2%) posted impressive sales increases. The retailer also said that its General Merchandise and Clothing businesses ‘outperformed the market in challenging conditions’.
Total grocery sales growth was ahead of that of Q2 (1.4%), however marginally behind that of Q1 (3.0%).
Sainsbury’s now expects its full-year underlying profit before tax to be ‘moderately ahead’ of the published consensus. The retailer will reveal its preliminary full year results on 2 May.
Within Christmas week particularly, Sainsbury’s said that it posted ‘record sales’, including more than 340,000 online grocery orders, as well as ‘stellar growth’ in its Argos Fast Track delivery and collection service. Online accounted for 20% of the Group’s sales during the quarter.
“We delivered an excellent operational performance across the Group, with great availability, strong customer satisfaction scores and our lowest level of waste ever at Christmas,” said Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s CEO. “Friday 22nd December was our biggest sales day for stores and we also delivered an online grocery order to customers every second. Customers bought more Taste the Difference food than last year as people treated themselves and our popular 25p veg lines helped our customers live well for less.
“General Merchandise and Clothing grew market share in a challenging market. Argos stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets performed particularly well and Argos saw record sales across the Black Friday period.”
Differentiated Food Proposition
The retailer said that its performance reflects the new ‘differentiated food offer’ at Sainsbury’s, with the launch of 185 new food lines for Christmas, almost half of which were in the retailer’s Taste the Difference range.
In addition, it undertook 34 range reviews during the quarter, covering around 13% of its grocery sales.
‘We also helped our customers to live well for less this Christmas, offering key Christmas vegetable lines for 25p and some of the lowest turkey prices in the market,’ the retailer said. ‘We grew market share in both turkey and produce during the key week, when more customers bought their main Christmas meal at Sainsbury’s.’
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine