Sainsbury’s has reported like-for-like sales for its first quarter down 1.1% excluding petrol, in what chief executive Justin King said has been the slowest industry growth in a decade.
For the 12 weeks to June 7, total retail saleswere up 1% excluding petrol.
In what is King’s last set of figures to report before he stands down in July, he said: “Throughout the quarter we have continued to invest in reducing prices and improving quality, increasing the value of our offer. Lower food price inflation and reduced fuel prices are a welcome respite to customers’ finances but they continue to spend cautiously, leading to industry growth in the quarter being the slowest in a decade.”
King said Brand Match has been made easier by the switch from £20 spend to 10 items.
He also said Sainsbury’s continued to invest in product. Its top-end Taste the Difference range saw sales up nearly 10%, and at Easter it launched its first by Sainsbury’s Easter eggs, more than doubling its own-brand market share to 40%.
Sainsbury’s also completed a trial of its first in-store scratch bakery in a convenience store.
Sainsbury’s clothing reported double-digit like-for-like sales growth, and it confirmed the trial of an online clothing offer.
Sales from convenience and online have nearly doubled over the last five years to 15% of total sales. Convenience sales grew by over 18% year-on-year and in the quarter it opened its 200th convenience shop in London.
Online grocery grew by over 10% year on year, and follows the roll out of an improved web and mobile platform in April.
King said: “We expect customer spending to remain cautious and we will continue to invest to keep our offer competitive to help customers balance their household budget. We remain confident that our clear strategy and differentiated offer will allow us to continue to outperform our supermarket peers through the remainder of the year.”