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Sainsbury's delivers record online orders over Christmas

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Sainsbury’s online grocery sales grew by almost 20% in the latest quarter of its financial year, with some 160,000 orders delivered a week over the Christmas period, the supermarket said today.

In today’s third quarter trading statement the company also reported a marked trend to buy online and collect in store. Almost 75% of shoppers buying general merchandise at Christmas used its Click and Collect services, it said. Christmas week was one of the busiest for the service, as last-minute shoppers ordered for next day pick-up.

Across its channels, Sainsbury’s said that total sales excluding fuel were up by 4.5% in the 14 weeks to January 7, while like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, were up by 2.1%. It claimed an increase in market share on the back of a 1.5m rise in Christmas customer transctions to 26m.

"This was a strong quarter, rounded off by our best Christmas ever despite the economic backdrop,” said chief executive Justin King.

“Across the quarter customers chose Sainsbury's to help them Live Well for Less, taking advantage of our great value offer during October and November and then treating themselves and their families over the holiday season.”

The supermarket reported strong growth both in sales of its Taste the Difference range, but also its staples: rising sales of ‘basic’ range unsalted butter and dried fruit appeared to reflect a growth in home baking.

Elsewhere, Superdry-owner SuperGroup today reported a 22% increase in group sales to £79m in the nine weeks to January 1, up from £65m at the same time last year, with retail sales up by 28% to £66m, from £52m last time. Like-for-like retail sales, including online sales, were up by 5.8%, though wholesale sales were down by 4% at £13m.

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