Sainsbury’s posts 1.9% like-for-like growth in first quarter

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Sainsbury's: 20% growth in convenience business in first quarter

Sainsbury's: 20% growth in convenience business in first quarter

Sainsbury’s has posted a 1.9% increase in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, in the 12 weeks to 11 June 2011.

Total sales were up 4.3%, excluding fuel, but Sainsbury’s convenience business grew by 20% and online groceries at over 20%.

Sainsbury’s said despite the tough economic conditions its customers celebrated Easter, the Royal Wedding and the good weather in April and it sold the most Champagne it has ever sold outside of Christmas.

Sainsbury’s said its three own label ranges, basics, by Sainsbury’s, and Taste the Difference, all saw volume and sales growth in the period.

Basics is the supermarket’s fastest-growing brand, and is now number two in the value market with a 22.3% market share.

At the end of the quarter Sainsbury’s had re-launched over 1,500 products from its core own label range, by Sainsbury’s, of which it said almost 80% are either new or improved. During the quarter Sainsbury’s launched its new Feed Your Family for £50 meal planner, which provides a family of four with 21 home cooked meals.

Sainsbury’s said customer response has been very positive and since the launch in May over one million customers have logged on to its website to learn more.

Products featured in the planner have seen sales and volume uplifts of over 20%, it said.

General merchandise and clothing sales outstripped food, however, and Sainsbury’s said it celebrated its biggest childrenswear sales week ever; and was the number one retailer for The King’s Speech DVD, with a 34% market share in the week of its release.

Growth in convenience store sales was underpinned by strong like-for-like growth, said Sainsbury’s, and its general merchandise online business continued to grow strongly, supported by the accelerated roll-out of the Click & Collect service to 240 stores, including convenience stores. This brings the total Click & Collect stores to 400, half way to its target for 800 stores by Christmas.

During the quarter, Sainsbury’s opened two supermarkets, one replacement, three extensions and 13 convenience stores; adding 209,000sq ft of gross space to the estate.