Sainsbury’s has claimed “food inflation is starting to fall” as it recorded an 11 per cent hike in grocery sales in the first leg of the year.
The ‘Big Four’ grocer, recorded an inflation-led 9.8 per cent like-for like-increase in total retail sales excluding fuel in the first quarter of the year up from 4 per cent in the same period last year.
As the costs of goods continue to remain high for shoppers the supermarket giant said grocery sales were up 11 per cent from 2.4 per cent the prior year.
Clothing sales were down 3.7 per cent as customers continued to shop cautiously and colder weather in the spring months drove sales down.
The supermarket also said it injected £60m into cost cutting initiatives for customers since March,
Yesterday, the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) said supermarket forecourt fuel sales had led to Brits paying 6p extra per litre, totalling around £1bn, as it criticised big retailers for raising prices at the pumps amid the cost of living crisis.
“Food inflation is starting to fall and we are fully committed to passing on savings to our customers,”Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said.
During the quarter, Roberts announced a series of price cuts amid claims from the government that supermarkets were profiting from the cost of living crisis.
The chief said customers have also reported saving over £90m since it launched its new loyalty scheme Nectar Prices in April.
“The group comments that food inflation is starting to fall and this should help ease pressure on consumers, whose finances have been squeezed from all angles by rising prices, no more so than for the weekly shop,” Charlie Huggins, manager of the Quality Shares Portfolio at Wealth Club.
He added: “That said, it is far too early for Sainsbury’s to declare victory. The competitive environment continues to heat up with Aldi, Lidl and Amazon all looking to expand in UK grocery.
“Cost pressures remain intense, for both Sainsbury’s and its customers, meaning profits will likely go nowhere this year. But for now, the group is holding its own.”