‘Best-ever Christmas’ for supermarket giant

Chimichanga at Port Solent. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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SAINSBURY’S recorded its busiest-ever trading week during the run-up to Christmas.

The supermarket chain, which has its smaller ‘local’ stores in Portsmouth, Southsea and Hayling Island, as well as superstores in Fareham and Farlington, saw its like-for-like sales in the last quarter climb by 0.2 per cent.

Chief executive Justin King said the 14 weeks to January 4 had been a ‘very tough sales environment’ but the supermarket managed to maintain its record of growth – after it was forecast to fall after 35 successive periods of expansion.

Mr King said the seven days prior to Christmas was the group’s busiest-ever trading week, with more than 28m transactions.

He said: ‘This quarter has been characterised by a very tough sales environment throughout October and November, with customers saving up in order to treat their families over the Christmas period.

‘However, we saw strong sales in the key period over Christmas.’

The trading update from Sainsbury’s also revealed that customers redeemed £120m worth of points under its Nectar card loyalty scheme, which has just been rolled out on a trial basis in Portsmouth to include local businesses.