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Sainsbury’s online food sales grow by almost a fifth

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Online grocery sales grew by nearly 20% in the final quarter of its financial year, the supermarket said today. This follows a third quarter in which, Sainsbury’s said today, sales grew by more than 20%.

Convenience store sales grew by more than 18% in the final quarter, marking what Sainsbury’s described as a multichannel strategy that enables “customers to shop when and how they want.”

The update came as Sainsbury released its fourth quarter trading statement. In the 10 weeks to March 16, total sales grew by 6.3%, excluding fuel, while like-for-like sales came in at 3.6%, excluding fuel. Total sales for the full year, to March 16, grew by 4.3%, excluding fuel, while like-for-like sales grew by 1.8%, excluding fuel.

Chief executive Justin King said its focus on quality was attracting customers, with weekly transactions up by more than 800,000 year-on-year.

“We have delivered strong sales in the fourth quarter,” he said, “increasing market share and outperforming in what remains a tough retail environment. Over the quarter, we grew customer transactions to 22.9m per week, serving more customers than ever.”

The company said that the general merchandise and clothing business was growing at nearly three times the rate of its food business, with annual general merchandising sales reaching £1bn in February.

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