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Sainsbury's first quarter sales up 2.3%

Sainsbury’s has reported a 2.3% uplift in retail like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, in its first quarter as it continues to invest in product innovation.

FOOD & DRINK

Sainsbury's first quarter sales up 2.3%

In the 16 weeks to 1 July, grocery sales rose by 3% while general merchandise sales edged up 1%.

Meanwhile, clothing sales climbed by 7.2% following growth in both stores and online.

Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s group chief executive, said: "We have delivered a strong performance, driven by our differentiated strategy, offering customers quality, value and choice across food, general merchandise, clothing and financial services.”

During the period, Sainsbury’s launched 430 new and improved food products including over 250 new summer eating lines.

Coupe added: “We have seen strong food sales where we have invested in product innovation, such as our new summer eating ranges. Our produce category, where we know quality matters most to customers, performed particularly well, outperforming the market with volume growth of over 1%.”

Sainsbury’s also opened 36 Argos digital stores in its supermarkets in the quarter to bring the total to 75. Some 17 of the 36 stores replaced an existing Argos store, taking the total number of replacement stores to 20. It also opened three Mini Habitat stores.

The company said it remains on track to open around 135 Argos Digital stores in Sainsbury's supermarkets by the end of 2017/18, which will take the total to 175.

Looking ahead, Coupe said: "The market is competitive and we continue to manage cost price pressures closely. Our strategy is delivering and we are well placed to navigate the external environment."

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