16 weeks ended 13th October 2001

J Sainsbury plc, the major UK and US food retailer, today issued its second quarter trading statement for the 16 weeks to 13th October 2001, ahead of the Group's Interim results which will be announced on 21st November 2001.

Sainsbury's Supermarkets

  • Third consecutive quarter of strong like-for-like sales growth.
  • Total sales up 7.7%, with like-for-like sales up 6.0% (excluding petrol)
  • Additional £100m invested in pricing totalling £250m for year to date, backed by targeted promotional activity to offer customers better value.

Significant progress on store reinvigoration programme

  • 36 stores refurbished and 3 stores extended in the second quarter, bringing a total of 50 stores refurbished and 4 stores extended for the first half.
  • Will maintain store reinvigoration momentum in second half of year.
  • Sales uplifts remain strong.

Transformation programme on track

  • Confident of achieving £150 m cost savings target for year

Shaw's (US) - Sales momentum continues into Q2

  • Total sales in the quarter up 9.4%, with like-for-like sales growth of 5.0%
  • Continued improvement in supply chain efficiencies

Sir Peter Davis, group chief executive, said: "We are very pleased that our sales for this quarter are up 7.7% with like-for-like sales up again by 6%.

This is the third consecutive quarter where total sales uplifts are significantly better than in previous years and exceed industry averages.

"Our success in growing sales volumes shows that our First for Food strategy is working. We are offering our customers outstanding quality and great service at competitive prices. These increased volumes combined with our efficiency programme and cost savings will enable us to increase shareholder returns for the future.

"I am particularly pleased to note the tangible results we are experiencing from our investment in delivering great service. Availability has increased, queues are reduced and customer numbers continue to grow. The results of our independent mystery shopper surveys show an encouraging improvement in customer satisfaction levels.

"In this second half we are enhancing our customer offer by investing a further £100m in pricing; this brings the total for the year to date to £250m. Our 'Making life taste better for less' campaign launched this autumn offers significant reductions in price, and a strong range of targeted promotions. We have brought together our quality and value messages to ensure that Sainsbury's is well placed for the important pre Christmas trading period.

"This quarter we have refurbished 36 stores, 22 stores more than the 14 we achieved during the previous quarter. These re-invigorated stores provide a step change in our offer and customer feedback tells us that satisfaction levels are high. We have a better understanding of consumers' various specific requirements and this is helping us to devise a range of store formats. We believe that this increased understanding of customers' shopping needs will give us the opportunity to satisfy them better; this will provide the platform for our future success.

"Shaw's continues to move from strength to strength with total sales growth of 9.4% including additional sales realised from the 18 Grand Union stores we acquired in March 2001. Like-for-like sales growth was up 5.0%, a good improvement over the first quarter, and sales have remained strong in recent weeks.

"I remain confident that we are on track to deliver on the targets we have set ourselves for this year, and that our three year transformation programme will ensure a sustainable recovery of the business."

Unaudited Q2 sales

 
Sainsbury's Supermarkets
Shaws
 
Excl. Petrol
Inc. Petrol
 
 
Q2 2001
Q2 2000
Q2 2001
Q2 2000
Q2 2001
Q2 2000
Like for like sales growth (%)
6.0
0.6
5.3
1.8
5.0
(1.1)
Net new space added (%)
1.7
2.3
1.8
2.7
4.4
(2.7)
Total sales growth (%)
7.7
2.9
7.1
4.5
9.4
(3.8)
*Sainsbury's Supermarket's inflation in Q2 was (0.1)% including petrol, and 1.5% excluding petrol.

The Group's interim results will be published on 21st November 2001.