The supermarket’s clothing range gained market share despite a drop in sales.
Sales of Sainsbury’s Tu clothing range fell “in a weak market” in the 16 weeks to 24 September, as the supermarket’s total like-for-like sales dropped by 1.1% compared with a double digit increase in the same period last year. However, the clothing business gained market share, the Kantar Worldpanel for the 24 weeks ended 28 August reports.
Sainsbury’s launched a new upmarket womenswear sub-brand called Tu Premium on 6 September. Featuring higher-quality fabrics and styling than the core Tu collections, it is available online and in 160 stores. It includes daywear, outerwear and footwear, ranging in price from £12 up to £50 for a wool blend wrap coat. Hero pieces include a silk shirt priced at £30 and leather ankle boots at £50.
Sainsbury’s clothing business has a turnover approaching £1bn and is one of the company’s biggest area for growth.
The supermarket chain completed its acquisition of Argos owner Home Retail Group on 2 September, uniting Sainsbury’s, Argos and Habitat as “one multichannel, multi-product retailer”.
“Our general merchandise and clothing offer is popular with customers and the acquisition of Home Retail Group will accelerate our multi-product, multichannel strategy,” said Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe. “We will open 200 new digital collection points by the end of the year and already have 15 Argos Digital stores open in Sainsbury’s stores, so customers can shop 90,000 products whenever and wherever they want.”