Promotional activity and food deflation have dented Sobey’s like-for-like growth, with declines offset only by an increase in selling space.

While total sales at Sobeys rose 1.5% in the third quarter, same-store sales at the Candian retailer fell off by 0.4% year-on-year during the three months to 29 January, parent company, Empire Co. revealed yesterday (8 March).

This marks an acceleration of Sobey’s same-store sales decline, with sales down 0.1% for the year to date.

The company said that an increase in total sales were a “direct result” of increased selling space and indicated that like-for-like growth at the unit remains pressed due to food deflation and increased merchandising.

Empire said that group net earnings rose to C$277.2m (US$285.7m) in the year to 29 January, up from C$228.4m last year. Total revenues edged up by 1.4% to C$11.84bn, Empire added.