Sainsburys Reports Best Ever Xmas Performance

Sainsbury’s has delivered it’s best-ever Christmas trading figures, reporting sales growth ahead of analysts expectations.
The supermarket chain said its like-for-like sales, excluding petrol, rose 4.5 per cent in the 13 weeks to January 3. Total sales, which include new store openings, were up 5.3 per cent on the same period in 2007.
Despite the economic gloom, customer transactions over the festive period increased to over 18 million a week – rising to 22.6 million in the final week before Christmas.
As a result, the company said it experienced its busiest ever trading day on December 23 and delivered its best ever trading performances for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Chief executive Justin King said the firm’s own label products, especially the cheaper ‘basics’ range, contributed to the better-than-expected trading figures, which are an increase on the retailer’s 4.3 per cent second-quarter sales growth.
“Our Sainsburys ‘basics’, standard and ‘ Taste the difference ‘ range hierarchy provides customers with a choice of quality products at great value with ‘basics’ continuing to show the highest growth with sales up over 40 per cent year-on-year,” he said.
Strong product availability, a range of market-leading promotional offers and good growth from its non-food offering such as November’s half-price toy promotion and its Tu own brand clothing range were also cited as major contributors to the firm’s success.
Sainsbury’s also saw sales from its online home delivery service rise by 27 per cent during the quarter, helped by record orders for its goods in the week before Christmas.
The retailer’s “wide customer base” and continued investment in price promotions should allow it to continue progressing in 2009, King continued, despite the “particularly challenging” economic climate.

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