Sainsbury’s continues to outperform

Sainsbury’s has announced good sales during the second quarter, which continued to outperform the market, according to today's trading statement

The retailer confirmed that total sales in the 16 weeks to 29 September 2012, were up 4.4% (excluding fuel) with like-for-like sales also rising, up 1.9% (excluding fuel). These have helped boost the supermarket’s result over the first half, with total sales hovering around a 4.1% increase (excluding fuel) and like-for-like sales also rising 1.7%.

Chief executive Justin King partly attributed performance to a “unique and special summer” in a challenging retail environment, but also paid homage to the store’s investment in own-label, its competitive price positioning and the growing online and convenience formats.  

He said: “We are seeing the benefit of our ongoing investment in our own-label ranges, particularly By Sainsbury’s, which is growing at its strongest rate in recent years, and our Taste The Difference range, which is seeing near double-digit growth. Our own label penetration is increasing at a faster rate than any of the major supermarkets – a testament to the investment we have made in the quality of our products.

“As we approach Brand Match’s first anniversary, it continues to reinforce the competitiveness of our price position. Our customers tell us they believe it to be the simplest price guarantee in the market. We have also celebrated the 10th anniversary of our partnership with Nectar, which, when uniquely combined with our coupon-at-till technology, helps to ensure we reward customers with great offers on relevant products.

“We expect the challenging economic backdrop to persist, but by helping our customers to ‘Live Well For Less’ through competitive pricing, targeted promotions, quality own-label products, and outstanding customer service, we are positioned to perform well coming into the important Christmas period.”

King noted that non-food sales had seen the pace of growth accelerate to around three times that of food, but that there was a strong online business, which had grown 20% year-on-year. In total, he said that 330,000sq ft had been added year-to-date, with 28 new convenience stores in the quarter (49 in the year-to-date) as well as five supermarkets, and two extensions.

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