SAINSBURY’S first-quarter sales have turned up the heat on rivals Tesco and Morrisons.
The group, which recently recruited football superstar David Beckham to its advertising, revealed today that its like-for-like sales in the 12 weeks to 8 June rose 0.8 per cent, excluding fuel, compared with a 1 per cent fall at Tesco and a 1.8 per cent decline at Morrisons.
It was Sainsbury’s 34th consecutive quarter of underlying sales growth under boss Justin King, with market share also rising 0.2 per cent to 16.8 per cent, putting it behind Asda on 17.5 per cent.
Convenience stores saw 20 per cent sales growth, while online was up 16 per cent. Despite Sainsbury’s resilient performance, it represented a slowdown from growth of 3.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of the 2012-13 financial year.
That slowdown mainly reflected an extra bank holiday last year for the Queen’s diamond jubilee. King warned that although recent economic news had been better “the consumer view of the here-and-now has remained resolutely downbeat for a long time. We are not expecting [better economic signals] to lead to major change in consumer behaviour”.