Supermarkets

Sainsbury’s sales fall as CEO warns pressure on budgets set to intensify

Simon Roberts, chief executive of J Sainsbury plc, said that the company is ‘working hard’ to reduce costs across the business and keep prices low for its customers

Sainsbury’s has revealed its first quarter like-for-like sales for the 16 weeks to 25 June 2022 fell 4% YOY as it warned the pressure on households budgets is only set to “intensify” over the remainder of the year.

Despite the like-for-like figures, Sainsbury’s said it experienced good grocery performance, with sales down 2.4% against last year’s “elevated” Covid-19 driven levels and 8.7% ahead of pre-pandemic sales.

It revealed Argos sales were also down 7% in the last 11 weeks of the quarter and down 19% in the first five weeks. It added that General Merchandise and Clothing sales were “in line with expectations” down 14% and 10% respectively.

Sainsbury’s also confirmed its outlook remains unchanged and it continues to expect FY22/23 underlying profit before tax of between £630m and £690m.

Simon Roberts, chief executive of J Sainsbury plc, said that the company is “working hard” to reduce costs across the business and keep prices low for its customers.

Roberts said: “We really understand how hard it is for millions of households right now and that’s why we are investing £500m and doing everything we can to keep our prices low, especially on the products customers buy most often. We’re working hard to reduce costs right across the business so that we can keep investing in these areas that customers care most about.

“The progress we are making on improving value, quality, innovation and service is reflected in our improved grocery volume market share. Our customers are watching every penny and every pound but they also look to Sainsbury’s when they want to treat themselves, particularly at special occasions.”

He added: “We are really connected to our customers and through strong delivery of our plan, we have outperformed the market at key events such as the Jubilee. I would like to thank my colleagues for their brilliant efforts this quarter.

“We are proud to be the first major supermarket to pay the Living Wage to all colleagues, regardless of where they live – and to have increased Sainsbury’s colleague pay by 25% and Argos by 39% over the past five years. The pressure on household budgets will only intensify over the remainder of the year and I am very clear that doing the right thing for our customers and colleagues will remain at the very top of our agenda.”

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