Parent firm, Sainsbury’s reported growth across all channels in Q3, with its general merchandise business Argos seeing an uplift in sales and outperforming what the retailer described as “a highly competitive and very promotional market”.
The business reported it had completed the integration of Argos, delivering £160million in synergies across the business, including the introduction of 281 Argos stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets by year end and an increase in the number of Argos collections points in Sainsbury’s convenience stores to 207. This result has been a growth in total physical Argos points of presence to 1,200.
Supermarket sales grew 1% during Q3, benefiting from the addition of Argos stores inside Sainsbury’s stores, said the company.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said Argos had outperformed the market, adding: “in a tough trading environment, we gained market share in key general merchandise categories,” including consumer electronics, technology and furniture.
As customers increasingly look for convenient ways to shop, Argos Fast Track collection has grown by 20% and Fast Track delivery by 13%.
Sainsbury’s has been investing back into the Argos estate, upgrading 29 stores to digital formats in Q3 and introducing Pay@Browse technology in 206 outlets, meaning customers don’t need to queue to pay. Mr Coupe explained Sainsbury’s is “accelerating investment in technology”, as the overall business now sees £4.7billion of its sales start online.
Looking ahead, the grocer said retail markets “remain highly competitive and promotional”, ass the consumer continues to be uncertain but Mr Coupe said: “We continue to adapt our business to changing shopping habits and made good progress in a challenging market.”