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Sainsbury's blames dip in Q1 clothing sales on "cooler weather" 

Chloe Burney
04 July 2023

Sainsbury’s first quarter trading statement for the 16 weeks to 24 June 2023, revealed that despite boosted like-for-like sales across all categories, clothing sales were down by 3.7%.

Like-for-like sales were up by 9.8% and total retail sales were up by 9.2% in the first quarter.

Clothing sales from its Tu range were down by 3.7%. However, this was an improvement compared to the year prior, which saw clothing sales dip by 10.1% in Q1.

The company reported that 'clothing sales were impacted by the cooler weather', with stronger sales in the later weeks of the quarter as the weather warmed up. In addition, e-commerce benefitted from the migration to the Argos web platform and the introduction of more third-party brands.

After evaluating the trading update, the company's outlook for the FY23/24 remained unchanged. It expects the underlying profit before tax to sit between £640 million and £700 million and to generate at least £500 million of retail free cash flow.

Simon Roberts, Chief Executive of J Sainsbury plc, commented: "We are putting all of our energy and focus into battling inflation so that customers get the very best prices when they shop with us, particularly now as household budgets are under more pressure than ever.

"Customers can see that prices at Sainsbury’s have improved and this combination of great value and some good weather in recent weeks means we have grown our food volumes and market share. Customers are choosing us when they want to celebrate and we grew ahead of the market over Easter, the Coronation and the bank holidays. The progress we have made improving availability, value and convenience at Argos means we are well placed to deliver for customers in Argos’s 50th birthday year.

"Our colleagues are so important to delivering leading standards of customer service and we continue to do everything we can to support with the cost of living."

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