Sainsbury's rings up record sales

 

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's says it rang up more than £100 million in sales on Christmas Eve in a record-breaking festive trading week.

The chain reported like-for-like sales up 0.9%, excluding fuel, in the 14 weeks to January 5 after its strongest ever performance in the week before Christmas, when it also notched up £16 million in one hour on Sunday December 23.

Sales growth slowed on the 1.9% reported the previous quarter and against last year's 2.1% rise over the Christmas period.

But the performance confirms the pressure on smaller rival Morrisons, which disclosed a 2.5% slide in Christmas sales earlier this week.

Sainsbury's was the only one of the "big four" players to increase its market share in the run up to Christmas, to 17.1% from 17% a year earlier, while Morrisons saw its share slip to 12%, according to data yesterday from Kantar Worldpanel.

Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury's, said the group delivered good sales growth in "challenging" conditions.

"We expect the challenging economic backdrop to persist, with customers looking to re-balance their household budget after the festivities and so spending cautiously in the first few months of 2013," he said.

But the group said plans to continue its money-off coupon Brand Match scheme would help ensure it was "positioned to perform well over the next quarter".

Clive Black, retail analyst at Shore Capital Stockbrokers, said the figures implied a fall in sales volumes when factors such as inflation are stripped out.

But he said today's figures showed a "satisfactory performance in demonstrably dull market conditions".

Sainsbury's has reported resilient sales in recent months at the expense of its three main competitors, although figures tomorrow from market leader Tesco are expected to show a fightback at the chain with forecasts of a 1% sales rise.

Seymour Pierce retail expert Kate Calvert said it was likely Sainsbury's would "struggle to outperform in 2013" as Tesco is expected to reclaim recent lost sales growth.

Sainsbury's said non-food sales grew faster than food over its third quarter, with clothing sales up 10% year-on-year and small electricals sales rising by more than 24%.

Within food, the group saw own-brand product sales grow at three times the rate of branded goods as shoppers sought to cut down their food bill.

The firm's might in the convenience store sector helped sales from small stores rise more than 17%, while it added that online sales rose over 15%.

Ms Calvert said the performance at Sainsbury's confirmed that Morrisons is "structurally disadvantaged" by its lack of grocery delivery service and small number of convenience stores.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Administrator

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are a vibrant and establishe...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests