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Sainsbury’s Tu brand triumphs as Argos beds in nicely

If you were looking for in-depth news on Sainsbury’s Tu performance in its Q4 trading statement Thursday, you’d be disappointed.

Sales for the supermarket giant’s family fashion range rose an impressive 5% in the nine weeks to March 11. But all CEO Mike Coupe had to say on the subject was that the label “again performed ahead of the market.”

Instead the retailer chose to talk up Argos, the general merchandise chain it acquired last year.

Combined Sainsbury’s and Argos comp sales rose a modest 0.3% with total retail sales at the Sainsbury’s chain, excluding fuel, inching up 0.1%. But Argos on its own saw comps rise 4.3% with total retail sales up 3.8%.

Coupe said he was “pleased with this performance and [we] are making good progress against our key priorities.”

With Argos “delivering good growth”, the company is “investing in digital to deliver excellent service and availability”, with enhancements to the Argos website and app, he said.

“Online participation is growing, driven by mobile and Fast Track delivery and customers are responding well to new ranges,” he added.

The Argos performance looked strong against Sainsbury’s own general merchandise sales which fell 4% over the quarter, impacted by this year’s later Mother’s Day and Easter.


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