• Retail sales in 10 weeks to 14 March down 0.3%
  • Like-for-like sales down 1.9%
  • Clothing boosts general merchandise revenues
Clothing boosted general merchandise revenues at Sainsburys

Clothing boosted general merchandise revenues at Sainsbury's

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s delivered an expected decline in retail sales for the 10 weeks to 14 March, as competition from rivals and discount retailers continued to bite.

Fourth-quarter retail sales dipped slightly, while like-for-like sales fell 1.9%, excluding fuel.

“The trading environment remains challenging and the decisions we have taken to improve our competitiveness are reflected in our quarterly performance,” said company chief executive Mike Coupe. 

“Our strategy to deliver a broad range of products and services through our increasingly multi-channel offer is also progressing well.

“During the quarter our general merchandise and clothing businesses performed strongly, up more than 6% on last year.”

However, Coupe added that the company expected the market to remain challenging “for the foreseeable future”.

While issuing a “sell” recommendation for Sainsbury’s shares, analyst Clive Black of Shore Capital said the update was “better than we feared” and highlighted the “commendable” increase in general merchandise sales.