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J Sainsbury Q1 Like-for-like Sales Down 1.6%

J Sainsbury plc (SBRY.L) reported that its total retail sales for the first-quarter declined 1.2 per cent, with like-for-like sales decreased 1.6 per cent, both excluding fuel.

In its first quarter trading statement for the 16 weeks to 29 June 2019, the company said that grocery sales declined 0.5 per cent. General Merchandise sales declined by 3.1 per cent and Clothing sales declined by 4.5 per cent.

Mike Coupe, Chief Executive of the company, said that the company made good progress in a challenging market. The company reduced prices on over 1,000 every day food and grocery products and improved its relative performance. In a tough trading environment, the company gained market share in key General Merchandise categories and in Clothing.

The company said it will invest in 400 supermarkets this year, including adding an enhanced beauty offer in 100 stores.

The company noted that financial services is performing in line with expectations, with continued good growth in customer numbers. It is rolling out its SmartShop self-scan. SmartShop is now available in 148 supermarkets.

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