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The price of shares in FTSE 100 supermarket chain J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) has dropped by 1.85% to 195.80p (as of 14:05 BST) after non-fuel retail sales declined by 1.6% during the first quarter. Food sales were down by 0.5%, but general merchandising and clothing saw 3.1% and 4.5% decreases.
CEO Mike Coupe said: “We continue to adapt our business to changing shopping habits and made good progress in a challenging market. We reduced prices on over 1,000 every day food and grocery products and improved our relative performance. Our premium Taste the Difference ranges are growing market share and we continue to improve customer service and availability. In a tough trading environment, we gained market share in key General Merchandise categories and in Clothing, where we are now the UK’s fifth largest retailer by volume.
“We will invest in 400 supermarkets this year, including adding an enhanced beauty offer in 100 stores. We are accelerating investment in technology: 148 supermarkets now have SmartShop self-scan, 206 Argos stores offer Pay@Browse and we upgraded 29 more Argos stores to digital formats, all helping to make shopping with us quicker and easier“.