Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Sainsbury's posts first quarterly sales rise for two years

Published:  15 March, 2016

Sainsbury's has posted its first quarter of growth for over two years, amid signs that health is returning to the UK's beleaguered multiple retailers.

Total sales for the quarter were up 1.2% excluding fuel, with like-for-like sales up 0.1%.

Including fuel those figures are 0.5% and -0.4% respectively.

The retailer has invested heavily in some 3,000 high-quality own-brand products and has produced a range of consumer-friendly healthy-eating innovations which have proved popular as shoppers recover from their end-of-year excesses.

Sainsbury's boodles - noodles made using butternut squash - and courgetti - spiralized courgette - have sold particularly well, and the multiple has also introduced new high-fibre lines to its healthier bread range including a rye loaf and sprouting grain boule.

Online, grocery sales grew at nearly 14% and order volumes by some 19%.

The multiple continued to expand in the convenience sector in the quarter, adding 16 new c-stores to its portfolio, including its second micro store in Richmond.

Outside grocery, entertainment and clothing sales were up nearly 11%, while the banking business saw a 15% uplift in new insurance policies. Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's chief executive, said: "We have delivered a strong performance this quarter. Our supermarkets recorded both like-for-like transaction and volume growth and we continue to exceed our internal metrics for service and availability. We also maintained our market share in the quarter.

"The market will remain competitive as food deflation continues to impact sales growth.

"We have traded well this year and are making excellent progress implementing our strategy. The market will remain competitive but we are confident that we will continue to outperform our major peers." The retailer has also commited to phasing out almost all of its multi-buy promotions in grocery over the coming months.

Coupe said: "Customers have told us that multi-buy promotions do not meet their shopping needs today. They are often viewed as confusing, create storage challenges and unnecessary waste.

"We will be phasing out the vast majority of our multi-buy promotions across grocery products by August this year. We will continue to simplify our trading strategy in favour of lower regular prices."

Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief at, said: "This could be a sign the supermarkets are finally learning we don't want the wool pulled over our eyes when we shop.

"I'm pleased Sainsbury's are attributing their positive results in part to a conscious shift away from purchases that get us stocking up on goods we don't really want. Lowering pricing on everyday goods is far easier to get your head around.

A slick online delivery service has helped them so far, but it's vital they perfect it before Amazon gets in on the grocery action.

"Home delivery is where Sainsbury's has a clear opportunity to win back custom from the bargain end of the supermarket spectrum.

"Good quality produce with clear pricing supported by decent customer service is what will reel shoppers back in."