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Over 20% of Christmas trading at Sainsbury’s Argos was conducted online, but the retailer saw total retail sales drop 0.7% in the 15 weeks to 4 January.

While in-store groceries grew by 0.4%, online grocery sales were up 7.3% and clothing was up 4.4%. However general merchandise sales dropped 3.9%.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said: “Our digital investments are also paying off and over 20% of our business was online in the quarter.

“Groceries online had record order numbers throughout the Christmas period,” he added.

Coupe also said that Argos had its biggest digital Black Friday to date and record sales through mobile and via Argos Click and Collect1. 32 million customers shopped with us across Sainsbury’s and Argos in the key Christmas week.

Its convenience stores had their second-biggest trading day ever on Christmas Eve. Research company Kantar revealed yesterday that Christmas Eve 2019 was the largest trading day ever in the UK.