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J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) was among the small number of declining blue-chip stocks during 2019, so the grocer will be hoping to draw a line under a fairly torrid year that included its botched attempted merger with Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)-owned rival Asda.

The focus for the Christmas period is likely to be the performance of Sainsbury’s Argos division, sales figures from which are expected to reflect the difficult conditions for the retail sector, although, there is some hope that a post-election ‘bounce’ could occur as uncertainty clears.

Is Greggs still on a roll?

Greggs PLC (LON:GRG) is releasing a trading announcement on Wednesday, where it is likely to confirm whether the “exceptional trading” witnessed in the autumn has continued during the festive period.

The bakery chain delighted investors in November announcing pre-tax profit would be higher than expected, with analysts at Peel Hunt bumping their forecast from £110mln to £115mln, adding there would be scope for further increases.

The six weeks to 9 November saw sales rising 12.4% and were followed by the launch of its ‘festive bake’.

The additions to the menu did not stop there as the new year comes with a meat-free version of its popular steak bake, available just at the start of Veganuary – a movement encouraging people to go meat and dairy-free for the whole of January.

The company may comment on the initial performance of the vegan steak bake, available in 1,300 of the 2,000 UK shops until 16 January, expanding to the whole estate thereafter.

People were reportedly queuing outside a Newcastle branch on 1 January, when it made a late-night premiere.

Analysts at Peel Hunt are expecting that the launch of the vegan steak bake will help the company overcome a tough first quarter comparative, however, they are still concerned that the company’s momentum will start to wane which in turn could put downward pressure on the share price.

Significant announcements expected for Wednesday January 8:

Trading announcements: Greggs PLC (LON:GRG), J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY), Topps Tiles PLC (LON:TPT)

Finals: Shoe Zone Plc (LON:SHOE)

Economic data: Halifax UK house price index