Sainsbury’s and JD Sports add to the High Street cheer by posting bumper festive sales figures
Two of the UK’s biggest retailers posted bumper festive sales amid growing signs shoppers brushed off economic gloom and kept spending over Christmas.
Sainsbury’s toasted record revenues in the six weeks to January 7.
And JD Sports said sales in the last six weeks of 2022 were more than a fifth higher than a year earlier as tracksuits and trainers flew off the shelves.
Record results: Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second-biggest grocer, said profits for the year to April would come in at the upper end of its forecast of between £630m and £690m
The pair became the latest High Street giants to suggest a feared festive bloodbath for retailers was averted.
Last week Next defied expectations by revealing bumper sales. A slew of firms including Boots, Greggs and B&M Bargains have also delivered upbeat figures and a report from the British Retail Consortium showed households ‘braved the cold snap and strikes’ to buy presents.
Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said Christmas ‘did arrive’, and was better than feared. He said: ‘We had consumer confidence at all-time lows.
‘But people had not seen each other for three years and wanted a good time.’
Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second-biggest grocer, said profits for the year to April would come in at the upper end of its forecast of between £630million and £690million.
Boss Simon Roberts said it delivered the ‘best possible Christmas’. The 51-year-old said some cash-strapped shoppers hunted for bargains, taking advantage of Black Friday and other seasonal offers.
Sainsbury’s, which also owns Argos and Habitat, said general merchandise sales jumped 7.4 per cent over Christmas.
Roberts said Argos was lifted by strong sales of energy efficient products such as air fryers.
He said: ‘We prioritised keeping our prices low and giving customers great value. Customers shopped early, buying Christmas treats and fizz more than once and looked for deals.’
But he warned money will be ‘exceptionally tight’ this year and promised to keep ‘battling’ inflation. Finance boss Kevin O’Byrne said good news was coming through as it expects price rises to ease. The shares fell 1.6 per cent, or 3.9p, to 241.9p.
JD Sports, also pushed up its profit forecast for the year to the end of January, saying it will be at the top end of market expectations – between £933million and £985million.
Sales in the six weeks to December 31 rose more than 20 per cent from a year earlier.
The chain, with 414 UK shop and 3,400 stores around the world, said some stores saw record sales, and the week to Christmas Eve was its busiest ever.
Its top seller was Nike’s Air Force 1 trainers, with 600,000 sold in the UK over the last three months. Boss Regis Schultz said Christmas had been ‘phenomenal’.
He said: ‘Many of our stores and websites delivered record sales and JD’s market-leading product and retail experience captured the imagination of customers globally.’
Its shares rose 7 per cent, or 9.85p, to 150.75p.