Habitat branded products performed strongly as parent company Sainsbury’s delivered third quarter growth and a record Christmas.
According to supermarket group Sainsbury’s latest trading update for the 16 weeks to 7 January 2023, total group sales rose 5.2%. Like-for-like sales were up 5.9%, reflecting “inflation and relatively resilient volume trends”.
General Merchandise sales increased 4.6%, while grocery sales rose 5.6%, and were 12.5% ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Christmas sales grew 7.1%, with Grocery sales up 7.1% and General Merchandise sales up 7.4%.
Within its General Merchandise division, Argos sales jumped 4.5% and performed “exceptionally well over the key Christmas week” as customers turned to its stores in supermarkets for “great value and reliable, last minute Christmas gifting”.
Sainsbury’s said that Habitat branded products outperformed in home and furniture.
Simon Roberts, Chief Executive of J Sainsbury plc, said: “We delivered the best possible Christmas for customers as millions of households managed their budgets differently, hosting larger gatherings again and treating themselves at home. Customers shopped early, buying Christmas treats and fizz more than once and looked for deals, taking advantage of Black Friday and other seasonal offers. Argos offered great value and quality and, as train and postal strikes disrupted the country, customers appreciated its reliability and convenience.
“We prioritised keeping our prices low and giving our customers great value at Christmas. Sales were also boosted by the World Cup as people celebrated more at home. Our determined focus on delivering the best value alongside new and exciting festive food plus outstanding customer service and availability meant we delivered record sales, and market outperformance at both Sainsbury’s and Argos.
“We understand money will be exceptionally tight this year particularly as many people wait for Christmas bills to land. We are working together with our suppliers to battle cost inflation and we’re keeping prices low again this year with our biggest value campaign yet in January, price matching Aldi on around 300 of our most popular products.
“Finally, a huge thank you to all my colleagues who really do make the difference for our customers. We announced a market leading pay rise for our front line colleagues last week to £11 per hour (£11.95 in London) and an additional six months of free food in stores and depots. I am hugely grateful to all our team and suppliers for their hard work and support in delivering these results.”
Profits are expected to be towards the upper end of its guidance range, between £630m to £690m.