Sainsbury’s sales fall as Argos toy sales disappoint

Published on: 8th January 2020

The grocery chain has reported a drop in sales during the last quarter, but online sales across the business are up 5% YoY. 

Sainsbury’s has reported a disappointing set of sales results for the last quarter 2019, a period which includes the pivotal Christmas and Black Friday trading spells.

While grocery sales  have edged higher YoY, up 0.4%, total retail sales (excluding fuel) were down 7% in the 15 weeks to 4th January. Online sales paint a slightly different picture; over 20% of sales originated online, with total online sales growing more than 5% year-on-year.

Argos outperformed the market in consumer electronics for the period and enjoyed its biggest ever Black Friday for sales of digital products. General Merchandise sales overall slipped by 3.9% YoY however, with the toy and gaming categories in decline. The company reported that it experienced customers buying fewer toys and saw no big gaming release in 2019 to boost sales.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said: “We gave our customers a great combination of quality food at good prices this Christmas and we delivered a standout performance operationally. Argos had its biggest digital Black Friday to date and record sales through mobile and via Argos Click and Collect, 32m customers shopped with us across Sainsbury’s and Argos in the key Christmas week.”

Sainsbury’s added: “We invested in 127 supermarkets and 93 convenience stores in the quarter and are on track to deliver improvements to 450 supermarkets and 200 convenience stores by mid-March. Retail markets remain highly competitive and promotional and the consumer outlook continues to be uncertain. However, we are well placed to navigate the external environment and are executing well against our strategy.”



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