Sainsbury's hails 'good sales performance'

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The Independent Online

Tesco's major rival Sainsbury's hailed a "good sales performance" today after enjoying success in fashion and in its convenience stores.

The group's like-for-like sales were up 1.9% excluding fuel in the quarter to October 1, although unlike Tesco its figures include VAT.

Chief executive Justin King said general merchandise and clothing continued to do well, with sales "well ahead" of the main grocery business.

In line with the consumer trend for local shopping, its convenience stores business continued to grow at a rate of 20%, with like-for-like sales stronger than in its supermarkets. Its 400th convenience store at Wolverhampton was one of 24 such outlets opened by Sainsbury's in the quarter.

Sainsbury's has responded to pressure on household finances by launching its "Live Well for Less" promotion and said 3,000 new or improved lines were in store under its "by Sainsbury's" own label range.

Mr King said: "We expect the market environment to remain very competitive for the foreseeable future but we are confident in our ability to grow by doing a great job for our customers."

Sainsbury's will be eyeing a further boost to its clothing sales with the launch of a number of collections created by television presenter and fashion consultant Gok Wan under the Gok for TU brand.

His debut womenswear collection will be launched in 200 stores on Thursday, featuring 13 styles with prices starting from £20.