Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s biggest retailers, has announced its first drop in like-for-like sales in nine years, with comparable Q4 sales falling back 3.8%. Excluding fuel, takings were were down 3.1% in the period of March while year-on-year sales dropped 1%.
Justin King, CEO of the company, commented: “We have seen a decline in sales in the quarter reflecting tough comparatives. This time last year our sales benefited significantly from the discovery of horsemeat in some branded and competitors’ products. We are pleased, however, that market data shows we have maintained market share at 17%”.
Private label growth also saw growth, with King reporting penetration at 51 per cent, versus 47 per cent for the market. “Our own-brand products are, on average, 20 per cent cheaper than a branded equivalent and are also supported by the values that our customers expect of us”, he said.
However, although recently having lowered price for staple goods, Sainsbury’s, the retailer resisted joining the price war in products such as milk, bread and eggs. “[We] continue to pay a fair price to farmers through our Dairy Development Group, and only use British flour in our in-store bakeries and eggs from hens that are free to roam. Customers continue to tell us they recognise the uniqueness and value for money of our own-brand ranges,” King added.
Source: Just Food / Sainsbury’s