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Sainsbury's expands

The chain adds 170,000 square feet of new space.

The British supermarket chain J. Sainsbury has reported total sales growth including fuel of 4.6 per cent for the fourth quarter ended 17 March 2012, compared to 7 per cent previous quarter.

Total sales growth (excluding fuel) for the fourth quarter was 5.1 per cent, compared to 4.5 per cent in third quarter.

Like-for-like sales including fuel for the fourth quarter increased by 2.5 per cent, while like-for-like sales excluding fuel surged by 2.6 per cent.

Justin King, chief executive of J. Sainsbury, said: “We delivered like-for-like sales of 2.6 per cent excluding fuel this quarter, completing a good performance for the year against a challenging backdrop. Our strategy of delivering universal customer appeal is succeeding in the current economic climate.”

The company has invested over £85m in 2012 to make its fresh food better than ever, and this is delivering real results. Sales of basics grew by 10 per cent and Taste the Difference grew by almost 20 per cent.

King added: “Convenience, online and non-food are all growing ahead of the market, as our multi-channel offer means customers can do more of their shopping with Sainsbury's. Against difficult market conditions we are gaining market share in clothing and general merchandise. Our convenience business is growing at over 20 per cent, driven by a combination of new space and strong like-for-like sales growth. We are also the fastest growing online grocer.”

During the quarter, the company added 170,000 square feet of gross new space, including two new supermarkets, three extensions, and 15 new convenience stores.

King concluded: “Sales continue to grow at over 20 per cent, with both basket size and order numbers increasing, and we now serve on average 165,000 customers a week. Click & Collect is now in nearly 900 stores, with over half of customers choosing to pick up their online general merchandise orders in store.”