Press Centre

Asda delivers solid Christmas performance with its busiest ever day on 23rd December

  • Asda confirms more than half of VAT-able products including the whole of George will not move in price on the 1st January
  • 12 stores exceed the four million sales mark, compared to eight stores last year
  • The top performing stores in each UK country were Boldon in England, Edinburgh in Scotland, Swansea in Wales and Enniskillen in Northern Ireland
  • Customers determined to enjoy a traditional family Christmas as sales of premium products increase by 98 per cent over Christmas week.

Despite the adverse weather conditions in the run-up to Christmas, Asda today reported a solid performance as customers braved the weather to make their way into stores across the UK.

It also confirmed that customers would not see a dramatic change from the 1st of January, with more than half of VAT-able items being held in price, including the whole of George.

The 23rd December was the retailer’s biggest trading day on record as customers delayed their ‘big’ shop and took advantage of extended trading hours on Christmas Eve.

The cold snap didn’t put customers off enjoying a traditional family Christmas, with sales of Extra Special and premium lines increasing by 98 per cent over Christmas week as families opted to treat themselves and spend time together over the festive period. Sledges and board games had dramatic sales increases over Christmas week as parents across the UK shared a traditional white Christmas with the kids.

On George, the biggest selling gifts were pyjamas, dressing gowns, slippers and socks as customers cosied up on Christmas Day.

In the seven days up to Christmas 12 ASDA stores had sales of over £4 million. Boldon in the North East was the top performing store, followed closely by Havant and the recently-remodelled Minworth store in the West Midlands. Fifty Asda stores reported sales of over £3 million compared to 47 stores last Christmas and 184 stores had sales of over £2 million – an improvement from 176 stores in 2008.

Asda’s grocery home shopping business also had its biggest Christmas, in the face of tough weather conditions, with more than 100,000 orders delivered in the run-up to Christmas Eve. Drivers battled through snow, wind and ice to ensure customers weren’t left disappointed. Some of its delivery vans had to be pulled from ditches, pushed by passers by, and towed to safety by mountain rescue teams as Asda pulled out all the stops to deliver the Christmas turkey.

Customers in some of the worst affected areas also helped keep things moving by meeting drivers half way and some deliveries were even sent by taxi to shoppers’ homes or delivered by colleagues in their own cars. Despite the challenging weather, Asda reported the best ever availability on Home Shopping orders, opening a record number of slots and extending deliveries into Christmas Eve, with the last orders delivered at 5pm in Corby and High Wycombe.

Andy Bond, Asda president and CEO, said:

“I want to thank colleagues up and down the country who did a sterling job keeping car parks cleared, shelves stocked and customers moving through the tills all week, working around the clock right up until 6pm on Christmas Eve.

“I’m extremely pleased with their performance this year. Together they’ve helped save our customers millions of pounds each and every week, something they should all be very proud of.”

On the impending sales tax rise Andy Bond added:

“While there are clearly challenges ahead, like the impending VAT increase, what matters most to customers is the price they pay at the till. Because we always aim to have the lowest prices, customers shouldn’t expect to see dramatic changes at Asda on January 1st. In fact, more than half of VAT-able items we sell won’t move in price, including the whole of George.

“I’m very confident about our prospects next year, despite the fact it’s going to be tougher for customers. We’re ready to face into whatever the economy and Government throws at us.”

This week customers can also pick up a bargain in Asda’s post Christmas sale, with some products slashed by as much as 50 per cent. Customers are able to pick up amazing deals, such as a Blu-Ray DVD player for just £77 and a Dyson vacuum cleaner for £100, a ladies’ cashmere jumper for £14, and a Vidal Sassoon hair dryer for £5.

Posted in Press Centre on 29 December 2009