Sainsbury's like-for-like sales up 3.6% in Q4
In the ten weeks to 16 March, total sales rose 6.3% while weekly customer transactions increased by over 800,000 year-on-year. Like-for-like sales for the year were up 1.8%.
Justin King, chief executive, said: "We have delivered strong sales in the fourth quarter, increasing market share and outperforming in what remains a tough retail environment. Over the quarter, we grew customer transactions to 22.9 million per week, serving more customers than ever."
The supermarket said its multi-channel strategy had resulted in its convenience business growing at over 18% year-on-year, driven by a combination of new space and strong like-for-like sales growth. In addition, online grocery sales increased by nearly 20%.
The retailer's general merchandise and clothing business grew at nearly three times the rate of food in the quarter, reaching a milestone of £1 billion annual sales in February from general merchandise. Nearly 33% of the supermarket’s customers are now within a 15 minute drive of a full non-food offer, up from 29% this time last year.
The supermarket saw its best ever January sale in the quarter, with sales up 19% year-on-year. Clothing sales rose 20% while sales of home accessories were up nearly 25% year-on-year.
Sainsbury’s achieved its target of circa 5% gross space growth for the year by adding 163,000 square feet of new space in the quarter including three supermarkets and 19 convenience stores. Over the full year, the retailer opened 14 new supermarkets, eight extensions and 87 convenience stores, bringing the total gross new space to just over 1 million square feet. A new depot in Thameside was also opened to serve the convenience business in London and the South East.
The supermarket said the re-launch of its ‘by Sainsbury’s’ range was almost complete, with sales growing by around 9% year-on-year.
King added: "We expect the challenging economic environment to continue through the coming year. By helping our customers to Live Well for Less through our ongoing commitment to great quality own-brand products, Brand Match, competitive pricing and targeted promotions via Nectar and coupon-at-till, we are well positioned to continue to outperform the market."
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