Sainsbury’s sales decline amidst ‘intensifying’ cost-of-living crisis

Sainsbury’s has reported a four per cent drop in sales for the first quarter of the year.

During the 16 weeks to 25 June 2022, clothing sales were down by 10 per cent, while general merchandising at Argos also declined by just over 10 per cent.

Grocery sales at the supermarket chain were down by 2.4 per cent compared to elevated pandemic-driven levels but 8.7 per cent ahead of pre-covid levels.

In the company’s latest financial results, Sainsbury’s boss Simon Roberts warned that he expects household budgets to continue to “intensify” for the rest of the year.

“We really understand how hard it is for millions of households right now and that’s why we are investing £500 million and doing everything we can to keep our prices low, especially on the products customers buy most often,” said Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s.

The figures are published as the company reveals that current chief financial officer Kevin O'Byrne is to retire.

In April, the retailer said profits had more than doubled to £730 million in its latest financial year.

This represents a 25 per cent increase compared to 2019/20 and a 104 per cent hike versus 2020/21.

But the company warned that underlying pre-tax profits will be between £630 million and £690 million this year.

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