Sainsbury’s has finally got sales growing again — just.
The supermarket put out a fourth-quarter trading update on Tuesday, announcing that like-for-like sales (which only count stores that were open this time last year and exclude sales from new openings) grew for the first time in over two years.
Exclude fuel, retail sales inched up 0.1%. Overall, retail sales were up 1.2%.
It may seem like a small victory but it’s significant given the current market conditions. Supermarkets are locked in a price war sparked by the rise of discounters like Lidl and Aldi. That’s eating into profit margins and revenues as Sainsbury’s and the other “Big Four” slash prices to compete and hold on to market share.
Sainsbury’s proudly states that it managed to maintain its market share in the quarter, as well as grow sales slightly. But CEO Mike Coupe warns: “The market will remain competitive as food deflation continues to impact sales growth.”
Coupe says own-brand health foods like rye loaf helped Sainsbury’s boost sales in the quarter, as well as more innovative food products. Here’s Coupe:
The New Year is traditionally a time when customers focus on healthy eating and to cater for this demand we launched a number of vegetable-based product innovations including boodles (butternut squash noodles) and courgetti (spiralized courgette) which are proving extremely popular with our customers.
Courgetti was first popularised last year by health bloggers Hemsley & Hemsley.