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Sainsbury's reports best ever Christmas and plans for 4000 new jobs

Despite struggling to regain the industry name which it once held many years ago, Sainbury's has surprised analysts by reporting its best ever Christmas trading period. The reported surge in activity across the Sainsbury stores has been accompanied by news of expansion and an extra 4000 jobs across the UK. This comes a time when Marks & Spencer, amongst others, has announced job cuts in the region of 1000 and other retailers are struggling. So what is the real picture on the UK high street?

Firstly we need to differentiate between the food sector and the non-food sector because they have very different trading outlooks and potential in the short to medium term. A number of high-profile promotions in the supermarket sector have attracted increased visitor numbers which has then been converted into trade. On the other hand, the non-food sector has seen consumers looking for the best bargains - and now that the Christmas period is over they appear more and more willing to wait.

There is also an issue with the supply chain for the food sector. Some suppliers are under extreme pressure and supermarkets are able to negotiate better deals than ever before - allowing them to pass on some substantial savings to customers.

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