Sainsbury’s online trading boosts Christmas

Sainsbury’s added to the positive performance of the UK supermarket’s over Christmas, reporting like-for-like sales up in its third quarter and a strong online trading.

Sainsbury's pen

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Group chief executive Mike Couple said it was a record Christmas, with 30 million transactions and over £1 billion-worth of sale. Total retail sales excluding fuel rose 0.8% with like-for-like sales up 0.1%, and there was like-for-like transaction growth across all channels, and total volumes rose, but like-for-like volumes were flat.

It was online groceries and its convenience sector that proved were star performers, contributing 9% and 6% respectively – and analysts have hailed it as a “sound” Christmas for the retailer.

“The market remains very competitive and the impact of the devaluation of sterling remains uncertain. However, we are well placed to navigate the external environment and remain focused on delivering our strategy,” Coupe said.

Before Christmas, the retailer predicted sales of sparkling wines were expected to rise by around 500% on the Friday before Christmas to hit around 500,000 bottles, and Coupe pointed out the Blanc de Blanc Brut NV champagne was named Which? Best Buys this year.

City analysts Clive Black of Shore Capital noted it was a “sound Christmas” and although the supermarket was still under-performing against the retail market and losing share, its recent acquisition of Argos was opening new opportunities.

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