Sainsbury’s Tu clothing sales experienced a significant rebound during the second half of the year, as stated in the preliminary results report of the UK supermarket chain. The brand initially faced a decline of 18.3% in the first six months, followed by an 8.5% decrease for the full year. However, it witnessed a promising turnaround with a 1.5% increase in the second half and further growth of 4.2% in the final quarter. These positive trends indicate an optimistic outlook for the upcoming financial year. Although specific details were not provided, Sainsbury’s highlighted the gain in market share for the Tu brand in the clothing sector.

The success of Tu online played a crucial role in the brand’s recovery, with sales surging by 65%. Full-price sales also recorded a notable increase of 15%, driven by customer purchases of products like pyjamas, loungewear, and childrenswear. General merchandise sales, including products sold by Argos, also demonstrated improvement, growing by 8.3% for the full year and 17.6% in the final quarter. Argos, which operates both online and through catalogues, experienced a sales rise of 10.9% for the fiscal year and 18.1% in the last quarter. Specifically, pure digital sales achieved significant growth of 68% for the year, with 90% of these sales originating online. This success can be attributed to Argos’ strong digital presence and its reliable Fast Track delivery service, which allowed them to meet changing consumer shopping preferences during the pandemic.

Although some standalone Argos stores faced closures, home delivery sales witnessed a substantial increase as customers turned to online shopping options. The choice to collect purchases from Sainsbury’s stores also proved to be popular among customers. Sainsbury’s reported that over three million new customers were enticed to shop at Argos throughout the year, with sales boosted by strong growth in categories such as home and office furniture, garden essentials, and home entertainment.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s highlighted the positive transformation of its Habitat operations, positioning it as the leading furniture and home label within the general merchandise category. Though specific figures were not provided, the overall performance of Sainsbury’s was impressive, with group revenue (excluding VAT and fuel) experiencing a slight increase of 0.2% to reach £29 billion. Group retail sales (including VAT, excluding fuel) rose by 7.3% to £28.8 billion, while digital sales witnessed remarkable growth of 102%, reaching just over £12 billion. Grocery sales alone witnessed a rise of 7.8%. However, the underlying profit before tax for the year suffered a decrease of 39%, amounting to £356 million.

Overall, the preliminary results reflect Sainsbury’s resilience and adaptability in the face of challenging circumstances. Their focus on digital channels, particularly in collaboration with Argos, has proven instrumental in their successful performance during the pandemic.

Useful links:
1. Sainsbury’s Tu Clothing
2. Special Offers at Sainsbury’s