• Total like-for-like sales increased 2.3%
  • Grocery sales up 3%
  • General merchandise sales up 1%

Sainsbury’s posted a rise in first-quarter like-for-likes as its convenience and online food offer boosted sales.

The grocery giant reported a 2.7% rise in total sales in the 16 weeks to July 1, bolstered by a 2.3% increase in like-for-like sales excluding fuel.

The retailer’s grocery sales drove growth during the period, up 3% overall and aided by a 10% and 8% increase in convenience and online purchases respectively.

Sainsbury’s transaction growth also increased 1.9%.

General merchandise sales including at Argos edged up 1%, which the grocer said had outperformed the wider market despite the closure of 78 Argos and 84 concessions across Homebase stores during the period.

Sainsbury’s rolled out Argos store-in-stores across 36 new shops, bringing the total to 75.

The grocer said it is on track to open 175 store-in-stores by the end of the financial year.

Argos’ online sales rose 10% during the period, driven by mobile, and orders from its Fast Track delivery service jumped 36%.

Sainsbury’s clothing sales rose 7.2% in its first quarter.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said: “We have delivered a strong performance, driven by our differentiated strategy.

“We have seen strong food sales where we have invested in product innovation, such as our new summer eating ranges.

“General merchandise and clothing, including Argos, outperformed the market, with Fast Track delivery and collection seeing a stellar performance during the quarter, particularly during the period of warm weather when customers wanted to buy and receive their products the same day.

“Our strategy is delivering and we are well placed to navigate the external environment.”