Sainsbury's like-for-likes down 0.4% in third quarter
Sainsburys saw its like-for-like retail sales edge down 0.4% excluding fuel in its third quarter.
In the 15 weeks to 9 January 2016, total retail sales rose by 0.8% as the supermarket grew its customer transactions by 2.6% to over 30 million in the seven days before Christmas.
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said: "We have traded well during the festive period in a highly competitive market. Our stores delivered excellent levels of service and availability and we launched several new seasonal products and range improvements. As a result we have seen our market share grow in the quarter.”
The supermarket said it reduced its levels of vouchering and promotional participation year-on-year. It also reduced the number of multi-buys in favour of lower regular prices as it continued with its commitment to simplify prices and promotions.
Sainsbury’s opened 16 convenience stores in the quarter and achieved its biggest ever day for convenience sales on 24 December. Meanwhile, online grocery sales grew by nearly 10% and orders by 15%.
The general merchandise category achieved sales growth of 5% in the quarter with clothing sales increasing by nearly 6%, despite the impact of unseasonal weather.
Coupe added: “Given our good performance in this quarter, we now expect our like-for-like sales in the second half of the year to be better than the first. Food deflation and pressures on pricing will ensure that the market remains challenging for the foreseeable future. We will continue to remain competitive on price and our performance this quarter provides further evidence that our strategy is working."
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