A return to common sense retailing gets the tills ringing at Asda
ASDA today (Tuesday 15th May 2007) reported that total sales for the first financial quarter of the year were up in the low double digits, and like-for-like sales have continued to strengthen with mid single digit growth. This is the fourth successive quarter that ASDA’s like-for-like sales have accelerated.
The supermarket attributed its improved performance to a significant increase in the number of customers shopping in its stores*, a broader range of products and a continued focus on lowering prices. Food, general merchandise and George clothing have all seen an improvement in like-for-like sales this quarter.
Andy Bond, ASDA president and chief executive said: “I’m delighted with these figures as they show our common sense approach to retailing is paying dividends. The combination of lower prices, broader product ranges, cleaner stores, and shorter queues is a simple, but winning formula. It’s not rocket science, but it’s exactly what people want, that’s why we’ve attracted a million more customers in the last year.”
ASDA has tripled its range of organic food, doubled its premium range (Extra Special) and spent millions improving customer facilities including upgrading its in-store cafes, customer toilets and baby changing rooms.
Bond added: “There’s still plenty more to do, but with interest rates on the rise again people are feeling the pinch, so lowering prices is as important now as it’s ever been. That’s why we’re determined not to follow the crowd by using organic, premium or healthy food as an excuse to inflate margins and rip customers off.”
ASDA also confirmed that its operating income was ahead of plan, and grew faster than sales – reflective of its ongoing cost reduction programme, including initiatives to reduce energy consumption. As part of its commitment to cut carbon emissions ASDA is building energy efficient new stores, the first of which opens in Shaw, Oldham in August 2007.
The supermarket announced it is also on target to cut food packaging by 25% by the end of 2007, and plans to cut packaging on George clothing and non food ranges within the next 12-18 months by the same amount. It has committed to pass every penny saved back to customers through lower prices.