Hot on the heels of Morrisons’ stellar update yesterday, Sainsbury’s revealed Christmas also brought good tidings for its business.

The 0.1% rise in third quarter like-for-likes might not be much of a jump but it was ahead of analyst expectations and the grocer’s share price surged 5.5% as a result.

Growth was driven by Sainsbury’s new acquisition Argos, with like-for-likes up 4% at the general merchandise retailer.

Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe said this performance “reinforced the case” it made to acquire Argos for £1.4bn last year.

Looking at the grocer’s own performance, online, convenience and clothing all notched up good growth, however, its core food was in “slightly negative” territory, according to interim finance boss Ed Barker.

This will be worrying for Coupe et al as food remains vital to Sainsbury’s success and competitors such as Morrisons and Tesco – which is due to reveal its own Christmas performance tomorrow – are starting to regain ground.

Elsewhere, Tesco boss Dave Lewis has poached former Unilever colleague Alessandra Bellini to replace Robin Terrell as chief customer officer. And, House of Fraser updated on its Christmas trading today.

Quote of the day

”We are going to have to put prices up and that’s going to have to happen soon.”

– Maplin boss Oli Meakin on raising prices post-Brexit

Today in numbers


The fine Wilko was handed after one of its staff was left paralysed following an in-store accident


Lidl’s year on year sales rise over the festive season

Tomorrow’s agenda

It’s Super Thursday tomorrow with updates from retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis Partnership, Debenhams, Primark, and many more. Tune into Retail Week to find out how Christmas has played out and what lessons we can learn from this wealth of updates.

Gemma Goldfingle, Features Editor