Sainsbury’s, the UKs third biggest supermarket, saw shares fall by 6% after revealing disappointing fourth quarter results.
The company posted like for like sales growth of only 1%, well below market expectations and substantially lower than the 3.6% rise they’d seen in the previous period.
That left the full year, which runs from March 19th, up 2.3%, excluding petrol sales.
Justin King, the companies chief executive explained that the current trading market was tough and that their consumers were feeling the squeeze, but with Waitrose paying staff a massive 18% bonus on the back of bumper profits, could that just be an excuse?
Mr King argues that Sainsbury’s customers were “facing fuel price inflation, uncertain employment prospects and government spending cuts”.
With over 150,000 employees and nearly 900 UK stores, the company is still expanding, and the quarter saw the opening of 24 new stores, although the vast majority of these were in the growing convenience market.
“The consumer is wary of the future,” Mr King said on a BBC Radio 4 programme.
“They expect tax rises, cuts, so we are now looking to the future; for government to show us how things get better in time.
“We are looking for a confirmation that the worst of the news that the chancellor needs to give us was given last year.”
Tesco and Morrisons also saw shares drop on the back of the news.