'Strong cookbook sales' for Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s has told The Bookseller it saw “strong sales” in cookbooks in its second quarter. Save With Jamie by Jamie Oliver (Penguin, 29th August) was its top-selling print book for the 16 weeks to 28th September. 

In e-books, J K Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy (Little, Brown) was the supermarket's top-selling title.

Overall, Sainsbury's reported a like-for-like sales increase of 2.0% in the quarter, with a total sales increase of 4.6% excluding fuel. Sainsbury’s chief executive, Justin King, said that the chain was the only major supermarket to be growing market share.

“We have delivered strong sales over the quarter, continuing to outperform the market in what remains a tough retail environment,” he said. King added: “Our groceries online business grew by over 15% in the quarter and is now worth over £1 billion in annual sales.” The store’s convenience business also grew by 20% year-on-year as “customers topped up more frequently during the warm summer weather".

Tesco also gave a trading update today (2nd October) covering the six months to 31st August 2013. In the update, Britain’s largest supermarket chain reported a 23.5% drop in profits over the period to £1.39bn after a “challenging retail environment in Europe”.

However, Tesco's UK trading profit was up 1.5% to £1.13bn. UK like-for-like sales fell by 0.5% at the company. The firm's chief executive, Philip Clarke, said Tesco was making progress and was strengthening its UK business, but he saw little improvement in consumers' spending power.

"There is less pessimism around, but customers are still not seeing real disposable incomes improve," he told the BBC's "Today" programme.