Online sales up, overall sales down at Sainsburys

Reflecting the overall changes in UK shopping habits, Sainsburys and Argos saw more than 20% of their Christmas sales made from online shopping. However, overall sales over the peak season in the 15 weeks to 4 January were down 0.7%.

In-store grocery sales grew by 0.4% but online grocery sales grew 7.3%, with clothing up 4.4%. Off-setting this was general merchandise that fell by 3.9%.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said: “Our digital investments are also paying off and over 20% of our business was online in the quarter.

“Groceries online had record order numbers throughout the Christmas period,” he added.

Argos had a bumper Black Friday through its online and click & collect channels. 32 million people shopped with the home retailer and Sainsburys in Christmas week.

The convenience store arm had their busiest day ever on Christmas Eve, that one industry observer said was the busiest retail trading day since records began for the retail sector, even though by some measures this was the worst festive peak season overall since records began.

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