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Sainsbury's sees retail sales fall 1.1% over Christmas

Sainsbury's sees retail sales fall 1.1% over Christmas

Business
Sainsbury's has seen sales fall over Christmas after non-food trading was hit by consumer caution.Like-for-like retail sales, which exclude sales from new stores, fell by 1.1% across the Christmas period.General merchandise sales, including at Sainsbury's-owned Argos, fell by 2.3% and overall clothing sales by 0.2%.Chief executive Mike Coupe said: "Retail markets are highly competitive and very promotional and the consumer outlook continues to be uncertain."Toy sales hitHe added: "General merchandise sales grew strongly over the key Christmas weeks and outperformed the market over the quarter. "Sales declined in the quarter due to cautious customer spending and our decision to reduce promotional activity across Black Friday. Clothing performed well, with...
Sainsbury's sees boost from Argos deal

Sainsbury's sees boost from Argos deal

Business
Sainsbury's says its latest half-year results have been boosted by its takeover of catalogue retailer Argos.Cost savings had lifted profits, while adding Argos stores to Sainsbury's outlets was "driving an increase in trading intensity", the retailer said.Sainsbury's, which is planning to merge with rival Asda, said half-year underlying profits rose 20% to £302m.However, when a host of exceptional costs are taken into account, profits nearly halved.The UK's second-largest supermarket said pre-tax profits for the 28 weeks to 22 September were £132m, compared with £220m a year earlier.The profit figure was pushed down by costs related to restructuring store management teams, the Argos integration and preparation for the Asda deal, which is...
Sainsbury's and Asda defend £13bn merger

Sainsbury's and Asda defend £13bn merger

Business
Sainsbury's and Asda say their planned £13bn merger will maintain the number of stores operated by the two brands and cut shoppers' costs.The deal - likely to face close scrutiny by competition authorities - will create a grocery powerhouse overtaking Tesco as the number one player in the sector, with combined revenues of £51bn.There are no plans to close Sainsbury's or Asda stores though executives are targeting savings of £500m, including "operational efficiencies" and by opening Argos concessions in Asda stores.Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe said however that he could not dismiss the possibility that regulators could order the disposal of some sites.Analysts at Global Data said at least 75 would have to go.Sainsbury's said customers would see benefits including price cuts of 10%
'Stores will close' if Asda and Sainsbury's merge

'Stores will close' if Asda and Sainsbury's merge

Business
Stores will close if Asda and Sainsbury's merge, a union has warned.Sky News exclusively revealed on Saturday that Asda's owner, Wal-Mart, was in advanced talks with Sainsbury's about a shock £10bn tie-up that would create ‎a more powerful rival to Tesco, the current UK market leader.Joe Clarke, national officer for Sainsbury's at the union Unite, told Sky News the potential deal was an "absolute shocker", with "implications for tens of thousands of jobs".Staff were in "utter disarray" and "absolutely shocked", he said, adding that Unite was asking for "senior level discussions" with both companies "immediately".Image:Asda's owner, Wal-Mart, is in talks with Sainsbury'sRetail analyst Natalie Berg said there would "naturally be some job losses" if the deal went ahead, partly because there w
Sainsbury's and Asda in merger talks

Sainsbury's and Asda in merger talks

Business
Merger talks between British supermarket chains Sainsbury's and Asda are at an "advanced" stage, Sainsbury's has confirmed.The two brands are expected to be retained should a merger go ahead.Sainsbury's and Asda - the UK arm of Walmart - are the second and third largest supermarkets in the UK.The combined group would comprise 2,800 stores and would represent 31.4% of the UK grocery market - slightly more than that of market leader Tesco. 'Game changer'"Sainsbury's confirms that it and Walmart Inc. are in advanced discussions regarding a combination of the Sainsbury's and Asda businesses," a statement from its holding company, J Sainsbury plc, said.The deal would be worth £10bn and a further announcement is expected on Monday morning. Richard Lim, from economics research consultancy Retail