Monday, 7th January: During the first half of Monday morning, Sainsbury’s was at the top of the blue-chip index following updates from fellow grocer Aldi and retailer Dunelm which suggested Christmas figures from 2018 were ones to be celebrated. However, Sainsbury’s pulled back during the day and was over-taken by Marks & Spencer, potentially due to news from the weekend that shoppers weren’t happy with Sainsbury’s new ‘wellness’ aisles which included sugary snacks and slimming shakes, announced in November 2018 as their attempt to keep up with the rising demand in the healthy eating market.
Nevertheless, Sainsbury’s and peers including Tesco and Morrison managed to hold on to gains from the cheerful festive period and end the day in positive territory, all up more than 1.0% at the close.
Mid-cap retailer Dunelm however had a much more successful day, trading more than 15.0% higher following their second quarter update which informed the market of a 9.0% increase in like for like revenue during the period and a massive 37.9% increase in online sales, demonstrating the positive impact the current CEO is having on the business and his attempts to fix problems which he had been left with by his predecessor.
Regardless of this positive news from grocers and retailers, the FTSE had a slow start to the day largely due to China-US trade relations, and the US Federal government shutdown which continues to drag on due to President Trumps demands regarding the Mexican wall.
News of a sluggish start on Wall Street had a knock-on effect on the FTSE which continued to drop throughout the day and eventually closed 0.39% lower at 6810.88.