Sainsbury’s warns of challenging year ahead as Christmas sales fall

Sales for the 14 weeks ending January 3rd were down 1.7 per cent like-for-like at Sainsbury’s.

That’s despite the week immediately before Christmas breaking records for the retailer, with 29.5m customer transactions. It was also its biggest Christmas online with 110k orders being delivered in the three days leading to December 23rd.

The fall was an improvement on the previous quarter when like-for-like numbers were down 2.8 per cent.

The outlook for the remainder of the financial year is set to remain challenging, with food price deflation likely to continue,” the company said. Our performance in the third quarter showed an improving trend quarter-on-quarter.

However, given the uncertainty in the trading environment, food price deflation and the price reductions we announced this week, we currently expect our fourth quarter like-for-like to be similar to that of our first half. Our prices versus our supermarket peers have never been better and alongside our differentiated quality and service offer, we are confident we will help our customers Live Well for Less throughout 2015.”

Shares in Sainsbury’s have fallen 36 per cent in the last year.

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