Sainsbury's has singled out book sales as an area of strong growth in its most recent financial year, and has said that it will now devote more new space to "non-food ranges".
For the 52 weeks to 19th March 2011, the retailer announced total sales were up 7% to £22.9bn, from £21.4bn last year, with sales excluding petrol up 4.9%, and like-for-like sales up 2.3%. Books was one area enjoying over 20% growth, along with home textiles, the company noted, and planned to devote 40% of its new space to non-food items.
The financial report said: "We are enjoying growth rates of over 20% in many areas, including books and home textiles. These figures will continue to become more significant and it is expected that 40% of new space will be devoted to our non-food ranges, which will account for one third of our supermarket sales growth."
The report added: "This year we have made excellent progress in the development and accessibility of our non-food ranges and sales are growing at more than three times the rate of food."
Underlying pre-tax-profit saw growth of 9% to £665m, up from £610m last year.