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Sainsbury’s, Ted Baker and Dunelm point to online growth over Christmas

Sainsbury's sets out how Argos acquisition will accelerate strategy of making customers' lives easi

Sainsbury’s says online sales grew by almost 10% over the Christmas period. The supermarket, a Model retailer in the IRUK Top500, says more than 289,000 online orders were delivered in one recordbreaking week during the quarter.

The news came as Sainsbury’s reported total sales up by 0.8% in the third quarter of its financial year, the 15 weeks to January 9, and like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, down by 0.4% in the same period.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said the supermarket had traded well in a “highly competitive” Christmas market. “Our stores delivered excellent levels of service and availability and we launched several new seasonal products and range improvements,” he said. “As a result we have seen our market share grow in the quarter.”

The grocer emphasised its move away from promotions and multibuys in favour of “lower regular prices”.

Game Digital , also a Model retailer in the IRUK Top500, reported a 0.4% fall in group gross transaction value (GTV) in the three weeks to January 9, with UK retail down by 5.9%, and Spanish revenues up by 10.6%. In the 24 weeks to the same date, group GTV was down by 5.5% – down by 10.5% in the UK and up by 8.8% in Spain.

Chief executive Martyn Gibbs said recent trading conditions had been “challenging” in the UK but had improved over the last three weeks. Looking ahead, he pointed to a series of new game and technology releases, including the launch of virtual reality devices, which he predicted would lead to “increased consumer interest which will benefit Game as customers seek expert advice and specialist service” and lead in turn to improved profits.

Meanwhile, Ted Baker , a Top100 retailer in the IRUK Top500, reported a 39.1% jump in its ecommerce sales in the eight weeks to January 9, reflecting “a good performance across all the group’s websites”. Its retail sales across all channels grew by 10.1% over the same period. This retailer also emphasised that it had little discounting during the period. “Gross margins were in line with expectations and there was no significant promotional activity before Christmas,” it said in today’s trading statement.

Homewares group Dunelm reported home delivery sales, predominantly online, of £16.5m in the 13 weeks to January 2. That’s 23.4% up on the same time last year, and came as the company reported total sales of £245.7m over the period, 8.8% up compared to the same time last year. Like-for-like sales of £221.5m were 3.9% up on last time.

Half-year figures to January 2 hit £448.1m, 10.3% up on last time, or 4.6% ahead on a like-for-like basis. Home delivery sales of £28m were 24.4% ahead.

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