Sainsbury’s enjoyed record Christmas trading with like-for-like sales up 3.6%, excluding fuel, in the 14 weeks to 8 January 2011, and 24.5m transactions in Christmas week.
Non-food sales grew at three times the rate of food. Sainsbury’s said seasonal and clothing ranges sold well, with lingerie and clothing accessories up over 45% on last year. Home, electrical and entertainment ranges also performed well with one in every three copies of Shrek 4 bought in its stores and The Sainsbury’s Winter Cookbook – its first in 10 years – its third biggest selling cook book.
In food, Sainsbury’s said its re-launched Taste the Difference range enabled customers to enjoy great quality food at affordable prices over the festive period.
Sales of responsibly sourced products saw strong growth with a 30% increase in sales of free range turkeys and 16% increase in sales of RSPCA Freedom Food certified smoked salmon.
According to Sainsbury’s, the Nectar loyalty programme played a key role, with over 800,000 more cardholders participating in Sainsbury’s versus last year.
Sainsbury’s also reported record orders for online groceries and continued growth in non-food business online. Sainsbury’s said its Click and Collect service is now in over 150 stores, while its convenience business saw strong underlying growth, with a further 13 Locals opened in the quarter.
Justin King, chief executive, said: “Our strategy of providing universal customer appeal through great food at fair prices has helped Sainsbury’s to deliver its best-ever Christmas resulting in like-for-like sales growth for the quarter, excluding fuel, of 3.6%. We are delighted that we delivered a record Christmas performance and have grown market share over the quarter up 0.3% to 16.6%.”