Justin King, Chief Executive, said, “This Christmas we have helped more customers than ever to Live Well for Less, delivering another quarter of good sales in a challenging retail environment, increasing market share. Like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 0.9 per cent, which was on top of a very strong Christmas last year; giving a two year like-for-like growth figure of 2.9 percent. Our colleagues did an outstanding job this Christmas, serving a record number of customers and maintaining excellent levels of customer service and availability.
The week before Christmas was our strongest trading week ever, with customer transactions exceeding 27 million. We saw a record breaking £16 million of sales in one hour between 12pm and 1pm on Sunday 23rdDecember and experienced our best ever Christmas Eve, at both our supermarket and convenience stores, with over £100 million of sales.
It has been a very strong quarter for our own-brand products, with sales growing at three times the rate of brands and 3,000 products available this Christmas either new or improved this year. by Sainsbury’s, the core of our offer, is growing at nearly five per cent year-on-year, reflecting the investment we have made in further improving the quality and taste of our products.
Sales of own-brand champagne and prosecco have grown at over 15 per cent year-on-year and our Christmas food ordering service was even more popular this year with orders up 25 per cent year-on-year. Christmas is a key time that customers choose to spend their Nectar points, and this year saw a record 22billion points worth over £110 million redeemed. Strong Nectar point redemption combined with industry leading own-brand growth helped our customers’ budgets go even further this Christmas.
Sainsbury’s multi-channel offer enables our customers to shop how they choose, when they choose. Convenience continues to perform strongly with growth of over 17 per cent, and our online business grew at over 15 per cent. During our busiest week we delivered a record 200,000 food orders, with our best-ever customer service and availability levels. Customers took advantage of Click & Collect facilities available in around 1,000 of our stores, with 60 per cent of general merchandise orders being collected in this way.
Customers are increasingly attracted into store by our complementary general merchandise and clothing offer and sales have continued to grow at a faster rate than food, increasing market share across non-food. Clothing has performed particularly well, growing at over 10% year-on-year, driven by investment in core ranges across women, men’s and kids and a number of profitable promotions.
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