Sainsbury’s sees sales tumble further amid ‘tough’ supermarket environment
The retailer saw like-for-like sales decline by 1.6% in the four months to June 29.
Sainsbury’s has seen like-for-like sales continue to tumble over the past four months, as pressure continues to weigh down on boss Mike Coupe.
Mr Coupe is expected to face criticism from some investors at the supermarket’s annual general meeting on Thursday, following the collapse of its planned mega-merger with Asda earlier this year.
The retailer saw like-for-like sales decline by 1.6% in the 16 weeks to June 29, as its decline accelerated from 0.9% in the previous quarter.
Total retail sales excluding fuel fell by 1.2% during the period, as the company said it was impacted by a “tough retail environment”.
Grocery sales declined by 0.5% over the period, as the decline in sales slowed down from 0.6% in the previous period.
Sainsbury’s also reported sales slumps of 3.1% and 4.5% respectively for its general merchandise and clothing divisions.
The sales figures come just months after the competition watchdog, the CMA, blocked Sainsbury’s from joining forces with fellow “Big Four” supermarket Asda.
We’ve blocked the Sainsbury’s / Asda merger after finding that it would lead to:— Competition & Markets Authority (@CMAgovUK) April 25, 2019
💷 Higher prices for groceries and fuel
🛒 Less choice and worse quality of products
🛍️ A poor shopping experience
Read more: https://t.co/FrOpssqwS7 pic.twitter.com/lJQtk9BbeC
Sainsbury’s has tried to win over shoppers in recent months by lowering prices, with reductions on more than 1,000 food and grocery items.
The supermarket said it has also committed to reduce its net debt by at least £600 million over the next three years.
It has also outlined significant store investment which will make improvements in 400 stores nationwide.
Mike Coupe, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “We continue to adapt our business to changing shopping habits and made good progress in a challenging market.
“We reduced prices on over 1,000 everyday food and grocery products and improved our relative performance.
“In a tough trading environment, we gained market share in key general merchandise categories and in clothing, where we are now the UK’s fifth largest retailer by volume.”