Sainsbury’s clothing sales edged up by almost 1% in the 28 weeks to 24 September, during the period it launched a new Admiral Performance range for men in August and Tu Premium for women in September.
The supermarket, which sells its Tu clothing brand, said one of its key priorities is to grow clothing and general merchandise and deliver synergies by integrating Argos following its acquisition of Home Retail Group.
“By Christmas we will open 30 Argos digital stores and create a further 30 Argos digital collection points in our supermarkets,” said chief executive Mike Coupe. “These will form part of a rollout of 200 new digital collection points where customers can collect Tu clothing, eBay and DPD parcels.”
He added: “The acquisition of HRG accelerates our strategy to give customers choice, convenience, speed and flexibility in when, where and how they shop. Food will always be at our heart and we are strengthening our clothing, general merchandise and financial services offers to realise the potential of the group.”
Total group sales increased 2.1% to £13.9m for the 28 weeks to 24 September, while underlying profit before tax fell by 10.1% to £277m compared to the previous year. Like-for-like sales fell by 1%.
Sainsbury’s is the UK’s sixth largest clothing retailer by volume, according to data collected by Kantar Worldpanel, which covers the 52 weeks to 28 February.
Two years ago Sainsbury’s identified it would have 25% of under-utilised space in its supermarkets over the next five years. It said it is making good progress on using this space to extend clothing and general merchandise space, among other things.
More than a third of space in its ‘supermarket of the future’ in Nine Elms, south west London, is given to clothing and merchandise.