Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second biggest supermarket chain, joins fourth-ranked Morrisons in reporting better-than-expected Christmas trading and its shares gained as much as 7% yesterday.
It also said its recently-acquired Argos business was also performing well.
Ted Baker also reported a surge in sales over Christmas, turning in a strong performance despite difficult market conditions in Britain, boosting its shares by as much as 5%.
Ted Baker’s performance contrasts with some of Britain’s other clothing retailers, which have had tough time over Christmas.
Next last week cut its profit forecast for the current financial year after a poor Christmas and warned of a further decline in the fiscal 2017 to 2018 year. Next also highlighted “exceptional” levels of uncertainty in the clothing retail sector.
Among UK supermarkets, industry data has indicated that market leader Tesco, which gives an update today, has also fared well. A strong Christmas will come as a relief to the big four UK grocers following several years of turmoil sparked by the rise of German discounters Aldi and Lidl.
Those two challengers have also reported robust festive numbers as the overall market grew.
Some analysts said the going could get tougher for Sainsbury’s as price pressures rise in Britain.