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Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has revealed that its retail sales were up by 6.8%. However, sales from its clothing line Tu were down by 6.4% during the 52 weeks ending 2 March 2024.

Lower clothing sales partly reflected a disciplined trading approach, with good stock management protecting profitability in a seasonally weak and promotionally-driven market.

However, there were also some disappointing range performances. In the fourth quarter, the company experienced availability challenges on several core lines. This was also heightened by “unseasonable weather”.

Looking ahead, the company plans for general merchandise and clothing inside Sainsbury’s stores to become more aligned with customers’ grocery missions, ensuring ranges are more “relevant and desirable”. In combination with a more profitable food offer, this hopes to generate significantly better sales and profit returns on store space.

Simon Roberts, CEO at Sainsbury’s, said: “We have the best combination of value and quality in the market and that’s winning us customers from all our key competitors, driving consistent volume market share growth as more customers choose us for their weekly shop and all their special occasions.

“We’ve done that by relentlessly investing in price; £780 million over the past three years. We know it’s still tough out there for so many households and we’re doing all we can to save money right across our business to keep prices low – we have reduced 4,000 products over the last year alone.

“As we embark on our Next Level Sainsbury’s strategy, we’ll continue to make deliberate, balanced choices to support our customers, colleagues, communities and farmers.”

Despite Sainsbury’s clothing sales dip, this doesn’t reflect the wider market. Earlier this month, George at Asda announced “soaring growth” in fashion sales over the six months ending 3 March 2024.

The results reflect George at Asda becoming the third-largest fashion retailer by sales volume in the UK. The business puts this down to its “ongoing focus on style, quality and value while allowing busy customers to shop for groceries and fashion all under one roof”.



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