Sainsbury's Sales Rise Ahead Of Argos Bid Deadline

Sainsbury’s has toasted a rise in sales during the last quarter as a deadline looms to make a bid for Argos owner Home Retail Group by the end of this week.

The supermarket reported a 0.1pc like-for-like sales increase during the nine weeks to March 12 - the first quarterly increase in two years. Total sales grew by 1.2pc, excluding fuel, during the period.

Mike Coupe, chief executive, said it had been a “strong performance” before warning the market would continue to be competitive as lower food prices impacted sales growth.

Sainsbury’s has been phasing out its multi-buy promotions, such as buy-one-get-one-free offers, after shoppers said that they were often confusing and created unnecessary food waste.

The supermarket, which wants to buy Argos in a bid to reate the largest click and collect network in the UK, said that online sales grew by nearly 14pc during the period.

If Sainsbury’s is able to beat rival South African bidder Steinhoff to clinch a takeover of Home Retail Group, it plans to shut Argos’ high street stores and move them inside its supermarkets.

The grocer opened 16 convenience stores during the period, which helped lift total sales.

Clothing sales grew by 10pc, boosted by the supermarket's revampled Tu website and its 22nd Gok Wan collection.


March 2016