Sainsbury's toy sales rise in best ever Christmas

Retailer bucks trend with sales increase of 4.8 per cent in Q3.
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Sainsbury’s has today announced its best ever Christmas and reported strong toy sales following its half-price promotion in November.

The firm joined a number of other retailers in cutting toy prices in the lead up to Christmas and has reported nearly three million toys were sold in the week-long promotion.

The supermarket also saw continued growth in customer numbers during the quarter with 22.6 million customers at Christmas.

Despite many retailers reporting lower than usual sales, Sainsbury’s like-for-like sales for the period were up by 3.9 per cent.

Justin King, chief executive, said: "We have continued to develop the Sainsbury's offer and demonstrated our ability to respond to rapidly changing customer needs. Sainsbury's offers great quality products at fair prices and appeals to the full range of customer needs and budgets. Customer transactions continued to grow over the quarter and now exceed 18 million a week with 22.6 million transactions in the seven days before Christmas.

"Our non-food ranges continued to show good growth over the quarter. We had a strong non-food Christmas range and held a number of promotional events in the lead up to Christmas.“

During the quarter, the chain opened six new stores, including a replacement store at Milton Keynes, its largest new store in eight years, and extended six stores.

King concluded: "The economic environment remains particularly challenging and we expect this to continue in 2009, however our continued investment in price and promotions along with universal appeal and a wide customer base means we are well positioned to continue our good progress."

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