Investment in lower prices sees record Christmas for Sainsbury’s

11th January 2023 | Jack Oliver

Sainsbury’s has recorded a record Christmas period, despite inflationary pressures putting a squeeze on consumer budgets.

Grocery sales were up 7.1% on a year-on-year basis in the six weeks to January 7, and 14.7% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

This comes after a disappointing first half of the year for the grocer, which saw a fall in profit of £151m after committing to keeping prices lower.

Sainsbury’s credited its strong performance to investments in value, innovation, service, and availability. It added that general merchandise growth (7.4%) was stronger, reflecting a larger market share.

It now anticipates profits for the financial year to be in the guidance range of £630m-£690m.

The grocer also praised the role of Argos, with its click-and-collect and delivery services providing some relief for consumers during a period of Royal Mail strikes. Argos, who are owned by Sainsbury’s, also recorded a year-on-year sales increase of 7.1%.

Sainsbury’s said it continues to remain cautious on the consumer backdrop.

Simon Roberts, chief executive of J Sainsbury, said: “Millions of households managed their budgets differently, hosting larger gatherings again and treating themselves at home. Customers shopped early, buying Christmas treats and fizz more than once and looked for deals, taking advantage of Black Friday and other seasonal offers.”


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