- Supermarket J Sainsbury has reported a 0.7% decline in like-for-like sales during the Christmas trading period, while total retail sales were down 0.7% in the 15 weeks to 4 January 2020.

While the retailer saw grocery sales grow 0.4%, online grocery sales were up 7.3%.

J Sainsbury chief executive Mike Coupe said its digital investments were 'paying off' and that more than 20% of its business was online during the quarter.

This resulted in total online sales growth of 5% in the 15-week period.

Clothing sales increased by 4.4%, but sales of general merchandise fell by 3.9%, the retailer reported.

Coupe said: 'The colder weather helped to deliver strong clothing sales in the quarter and our Christmas, party and gifting ranges were all popular with customers. Argos outperformed the market in consumer electronics, but the toy and gaming markets declined year on year.'

In the week before Christmas, the company served a total of 32m customers across Sainsbury's and Argos.

Coupe added: 'We have a real sense of momentum in Sainsbury's and investment in our stores and improvements to service and availability have led to our highest customer satisfaction scores of the year.'

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