Like-for-like retail sales where hit by food price deflation during the third quarter, which lead to a 1.7 percent dip, excluding fuel, the retailer's fourth consecutive quarter of falling sales and its worst holiday performance in ten years.
However, despite the minor sales slip, Sainsbury's still enjoyed a "record" week of sales during the seven days in the run up to Christmas, reporting over 29.5 million transactions. Sales were most likely bolstered by the retailer's Christmas campaign advert, which featured a First-World War theme film, depicting a truce between German and British soldiers on Christmas Eve, which went on to become one of the most viewed Christmas adverts of 2014, hitting over 16 million views on YouTube alone.
Sainsbury's added that it's general merchandise and fashion businesses "traded strongly" during the third quarter. The retailer sold more than twice as many Christmas jumpers compared to the same period last year, with its 'Snowman' jumper singled out as the best-seller by volume.
Mike Coupe, Chief Executive, said, “Sainsbury’s has provided a great Christmas for our customers. Food price deflation and falling fuel prices have enabled our customers to treat themselves over the festive period...the outlook for the remainder of the financial year is set to remain challenging, with food price deflation likely to continue. Our performance in the third quarter showed an improving trend quarter-on-quarter."