Sainsbury’s sees further sales slide

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Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has warned that the consumer outlook continues to be uncertain after it saw a further slide in sales.

In the 16 weeks to 29 June, its total retail sales excluding fuel fell by 1.2%.

Like-for-like sales, which strip out the impact of new store openings, fell by 1.6%.

Chief executive Mike Coupe complained of a “tough trading environment” but said Sainsbury’s was making progress.

The supermarket is still reeling from its failed bid to merge with rival Asda, which was blocked in April by the UK’s competition watchdog over fears it would raise prices for consumers.

It said retail markets remained “highly competitive and promotional”.

Sainsbury’s said it had reduced prices on more than 1,000 everyday food and grocery products, including items in the dairy, meat, fish, poultry and fresh produce categories.

It said it was now “the leading UK retailer of chilled plant-based food”, thanks to the introduction of meat-free products such as Ribz and Vegbabs.

The supermarket is also pressing ahead with its policy of integrating catalogue retailer Argos, which it bought in 2016, into its stores.

It said it now had 283 Argos outlets in Sainsbury’s supermarkets, while the brand was showing strong online growth.

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