Furniture sales strong during Black Friday at Sainsbury’s

Supermarket group Sainsbury’s, owners of furniture brand Habitat and catalogue retailer Argos, has reported a decline within its general merchandise division.

According to its latest trading update for the 16 weeks to 6 January 2024, total group sales rose 6.5%, with like-for-like sales up 7.4%, driven by a growth in food revenues, up 9.3%. However, total general merchandise sales declined 0.6%, with Argos sales down 0.9% in the period.

During its Christmas period, Argos saw sales decline 4.2%, while the category was down 3.7%.

The group added that it performed strongly over the Black Friday period with customers looking to buy earlier for Christmas, particularly in Furniture, Electronics and Toys categories.

Simon Roberts, Chief Executive of J Sainsbury plc, said: “We’ve worked hard to really deliver for our customers this quarter and have grown grocery volumes ahead of the market for the fourth Christmas in a row. More customers are choosing to shop at Sainsbury’s, recognising our determined focus on value, product innovation and service.

“This was our first Christmas powered by Nectar Prices, helping customers save an average of £16 on an £80 Christmas shop. We delivered our best ever value Christmas roast and customers bought record numbers of pigs in blankets, mince pies and sparkling wine. Taste the Difference sales grew ahead of the market as families treated themselves.

“Across the quarter, Argos performed ahead of competitors in a highly promotional market. Argos delivered a strong Black Friday performance but a weaker Christmas against an exceptional performance last year.

“Our success is down to our entire team who consistently deliver market leading customer service. I’d like to thank every one of my colleagues and am pleased we will be kicking off the new financial year with an industry leading pay increase, investing a record £200 million to continue to pay the Real Living Wage across the country.

“We enter 2024 with strong momentum and next month we will share our updated strategy, building on all we’ve done to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s over the last three years. There is a lot to be excited about and we remain absolutely committed to deliver for our customers, colleagues and shareholders.”

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