Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Sainsbury's keeps pressure on rivals

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has kept up the pressure on faltering rival Tesco by extending its run of sales growth to a 34th quarter in a row.

The chain said it continued to grow its market share after like-for-like sales rose 0.8% – excluding petrol forecourt operations – in the 12 weeks to June 8.

This was slower than the 3.6% rise in the final quarter of the previous financial year, although Sainsbury's pointed out it was up against strong comparisons with last year's Jubilee celebrations.

Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King said: "This has been a solid performance in what continues to be a tough consumer environment."

The performance comes a week after Tesco reported a sales fall of 1% in its first quarter and this has raised fears that its recovery plans have stalled.

Sainsbury's has prospered with its "Live Well for Less" offer to households which are under pressure from falling wages.

Convenience store sales are growing by nearly 20% on a year-on-year basis.

Over the quarter the company opened 19 smaller stores, refurbished a further 13 and is on track to deliver around two new stores a week over the year.

Latest retail figures from Kantar Worldpanel show it was the only one of the four large supermarkets to gain market share.

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