- Like for like sales, for 14 weeks to 12th April 2013 grew 1.3 per cent, (excluding VAT and fuel)
- Investment in lowering the price of everyday essentials continues to reap rewards
- Multichannel strategy continues to deliver strong growth, with online sales growing by over 16 per cent in the quarter as the retailer brings revolutionary Walmart technology to the UK
- President and CEO Andy Clarke says he’s “unwavering in his commitment to deliver Every Day Low Prices for customers” through everyday low cost strategy
Asda today (Thursday 16th May 2013) announced that it had grown like-for-like sales by 1.3% in the 14 weeks ending 12 April 2013, driven by strong performances across food and multichannel.
According to Asda, a sustained investment in lowering the price of everyday essentials and an unwavering commitment to expanding opportunities for customers to shop have enabled the retailer to maintain its market position over the last quarter, with market share unchanged at 17.9%. It noted its online and multichannel strategy continues to deliver strong growth, with online sales growing by over 16 per cent in the quarter.
Speaking at a results briefing this morning, Andy Clarke, President and CEO of Asda said:
“This represents a strong performance in what remains a very tough market. Despite a difficult environment for our customers, we have continued to achieve growth on growth by lowering the prices of essentials and investing in technology to make shopping more convenient.
“We’ve always been and will continue to be number one for unbeatable value. Low prices are who we are and are what drive real loyalty. They are not just a gimmick or an unsustainable or knee-jerk promotion.
“We are unwavering in this commitment to low prices and will continue to invest to allow our customers to shop when, where and how they want safe in the knowledge that they will always get the best prices when they shop with Asda.”
The retailer, which is on course to be named Britain’s lowest priced supermarket for the 16th year running, has reinforced its commitment to delivering Every Day Low Prices over the last quarter. In addition to investing further in 50p and £1 lines, it recently launched Asda’s Price Lock initiative, a £100 million commitment to keep down the price of everyday essential items, such as milk, eggs, bread and butter.
Customer participation in the Asda Price Guarantee – Asda’s cast iron pledge to be 10 per cent cheaper than Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrisons – also continued at pace, with checks of the APG topping close to half a million checks per week last quarter.
The retailer is also maximising its relationship with parent company Walmart, to bring new in-store and technology innovations to the UK. Hybrid checkouts, launched last year, have now been rolled out to a fifth of the retailer’s stores; helping to cut costs and queues. Scan and Go technology is trialling in a number of stores over the next few months, after being tried and tested in Walmart stores since last year.
Leveraging the scale and buying-power of Walmart has also played its part in delivering industry-leading savings. By working closely with US partners, Asda has been able to harness bulk buying economies of scale on a number of products including, for example, a gas burner BBQ, typically around £600 in the UK market, which is currently on sale in Asda for less that £350.
The retailer also noted it was sharing the best talent, practices and know how with Walmart to improve its operating model and drive efficiencies across the business.
Last month, the retailer announced total sales in 2012 of £22.8 billion, up 4.5% year-on-year, and plans to invest £700m into its ‘clicks and bricks’ strategy in 2013.
Asda is currently the second largest online grocer in the UK with total online sales up 16 percent in the first quarter of the year. Click & Collect facilities for George clothing and General Merchandise have already been introduced into all of Asda’s 568 stores and will be in place for grocery in almost 200 outlets by the end of 2013.
This is in addition to the Collect Plus deal announced in March, where customers can buy George and Asda Direct items online and collect or return them at more than 5,000 convenience stores and petrol stations in the UK. Click and Collect sites in railway stations, motorway services and even universities are also currently under consideration.
In the remainder of the year, Asda will also open 10 new stores, including four new small format supermarkets, five superstores and one new non-food outlet. This is in addition to two stores that have already opened in 2013 in Coventry (Asda Living) and Larkhall, near Glasgow (Asda supermarket). The total new stores will together add over 340,000 square feet of net selling space in 2013.