Sainsbury's Christmas Sales Dented on Cautious Consumer Spending - EcoFinBiz Blog

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Sainsbury's Christmas Sales Dented on Cautious Consumer Spending

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(Bloomberg) -- J Sainsbury Plc reported a decline in Christmas sales, as price-conscious U.K. shoppers turned to discounters to buy their turkey and stocking stuffers.

  • Retail like-for-like sales excluding fuel fell 1.1 percent, below analysts’ expectations, with general merchandise down 2.3 percent and groceries up 0.4 percent, also missing estimates.

Key Insights

  • The supermarket operator continues to face tough competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl as shoppers seek discounts amid Brexit-related uncertainty. Walmart Inc.’s Asda posted the strongest growth among the big four U.K. grocers, Kantar Worldpanel said Tuesday.
  • Sainsbury’s report underlines the rationale for its planned acquisition of Asda, which it sees as a way to counter Aldi and Lidl’s expansion and Amazon.com Inc. Antitrust regulators are set to decide in about two months on the planned deal.
  • Like rival Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc earlier this week, Sainsbury cited cautious spending during the holiday period as consumers face economic uncertainty.

Market Reaction

  • Sainsbury’s shares climbed 10 percent last year.

Get More

  • For more on the report, click here.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Milligan in London at emilligan11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Eric Pfanner

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