Sainsbury’s sales up 2.6% in fourth quarter but could do better, says consultant

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Asda has stolen a march on Brand Match, claims consultant

Asda has stolen a march on Brand Match, claims consultant

Sainsbury’s has reported a 2.6% increase in like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter and claims its convenience, online and non-food businesses are all growing ahead of the market.

However, a leading retail consultant argues the UK’s third largest supermarket should be making more of an impact given Tesco’s current predicament. 

Philip Dorrell, director at retail consultants, Retail Remedy, said: “Sainsbury’s is in a place Philip Clarke can only dream of and for precisely that reason these numbers could have been better.

“Sainsbury’s should be looking over its shoulder because Tesco is like a wounded animal baying for blood.”

According to Dorrell, Asda has stolen a march on Sainsbury’s Brand Match by battling harder on price and has also launched a programme focusing on the quality of its food.

“It has caught more of the floating shoppers Tesco has haemorrhaged than Sainsbury’s,” he said.

Dorrell advised Sainsbury’s roll up its sleeves from time to time if it wants to make even more of an impact.

“The combination of a wounded Tesco and a perhaps savvier Asda could mean 2012 is a tougher year for Sainsbury’s than 2011,” he said.

Sainsbury’s total sales, excluding fuel, rose by 5.1% in the 10 weeks to 17 March 2012.

Chief executive Justin King said its strategy of delivering universal customer appeal was succeeding in the current economic climate and the retailer continued to outperform the market and gain share.

According to Sainsbury’s, own label is a star performer with sales of its premium Taste the Difference range up by almost 20% and its basics offer up by 10%.

Its convenience business is also reported to be growing at over 20%, driven by a combination of new space and strong like-for-like sales growth. 

Sainsbury’s said it is also the fastest growing online grocer, with sales up by more than 20%; with basket size and order numbers increasing. Its Click & Collect service is now in nearly 900 stores and more than half of customers choose to pick up their online general merchandise orders in store, it said.