Online sales growth of 20% at J. Sainsbury's has not impacted customer numbers in its stores, with footfall rising 5% to 21 million a week, nor has it stopped the company adding 8.5% more shop floor space, the UK retailer reveals in its 4Q11 trading statement.
The company also announced that its Nectar loyalty card scheme has attracted more than 17.5 million members, with 800,000 more participating than this time last year. Nectar has also persuaded British Gas and Easyjet to join the scheme.
Total sales for the fourth quarter were up 6.8%, with like-for-like sales up 4.2%. CEO Justin King says total sales growth, excluding fuel, was 3.5%, with like-for-like sales growth of 1%. Non-food sales grew at over three times the rate of food, he says.
He expects the consumer environment to remain tough in the face of fuel price inflation, uncertain employment prospects and government spending cuts.
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