Tu Clothing owner Sainsbury’s said Tuesday its general merchandising and clothing sales in the first quarter ended June 25 were “in line with expectations” against a strong comparative last year.
Clothing sales were down 26 percent in the first five weeks of the period, but down just 2 percent in the final 11 weeks.
Sainsbury’s enjoyed a particularly strong period last year as supermarkets were some of the few stores allowed to remain open during lockdowns.
Overall clothing sales were down 10.1 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago, but were up 3.9 percent when compared to three years ago, prior to the pandemic.
Sainsbury’s FY outlook unchanged
Total retail sales excluding fuel dropped 4.5 percent compared to the year before, but were up 5.4 percent when compared to three years ago. Meanwhile, like-for-like sales excluding fuel dropped 4 percent year-on-year.
Like many retailers, Sainsbury’s is facing tightening consumer purse strings amid rising inflation.
CEO Simon Roberts said the company is doing “everything we can to keep our prices low, especially on the products customers buy most often”.
Based on its first quarter results, the company said its outlook remains unchanged. It expects FY22/23 underlying profit before tax of between 630 million pounds and 690 million pounds.