Asda returns to like-for-like market out-performance
- Like-for-like sales in Q4 increase by 1.6pc excluding fuel (2.6 per cent including VAT, excluding fuel)
- 800k customers compare prices following January relaunch of Asda Price Guarantee
- Chosen By You phase 2 launches with introduction of further 2,000 products across store
- Asda extends quality drive into non food with launch of premium homeware brand ‘Elegant Living’ – jointly sourced with Walmart
- Store colleagues rewarded for their 2010 performance with £26.9m bonus payout
Asda announced today (22nd February) like for like sales increased by 1.6 per cent excluding fuel in the fourth quarter, equivalent to a 2.6 per cent rise including VAT, helping the store return to market out-performance on a like-for-like basis in the second half of the year.
In addition the supermarket grew its profits ahead of sales for the full year, enabling it to reward its store colleagues with a bonus payout for the tenth year in a row.
Asda, which had a good Christmas, also saw its premium range Extra Special become the fastest growing premium brand in the market over the quarter. Sales of Extra Special Wyke Farm Cheddar increased ten fold and Extra Special 28-day matured beef joint saw an uplift of 248 per cent. Sales of Extra Special Clementines also doubled.
Asda’s core brand Chosen By You, which represents 80 per cent of its own label food sales, has also gone from strength-to-strength since it was launched in late September. To date, Asda has introduced nearly 3,000 products into the range, but in the coming weeks will complete phase two of the roll out with the introduction of a further 2,000 products, including 250 non edible groceries. Every single product has been independently blind tested by customers before hitting the shelves. As a result, since October Asda has seen sales of Chosen By You bakery products rise by six per cent, cakes have increased by 20 per cent, ready meals are up by nearly 11 per cent, and pies are up eight per cent. In addition its Chosen By You yoghurts have seen a staggering uplift of more than 80 per cent.
More recently the supermarket has extended the Asda Price Guarantee by widening its price gap to ten per cent over its rivals. The number of customers comparing the price of their groceries online has also dramatically increased since the turn of the year, with 800,000 people visiting www.asda.com/priceguarantee, and to date nearly 170,000 downloading the iPhone app.
Andy Clarke, Asda president and CEO said: "I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made in the last six months. We have successfully extended our price gap to ten per cent, significantly improved the quality of our food across the entire store, and given our customers even better service.
“Since the Asda Price Guarantee was relaunched at the turn of the year 800,000 people have taken advantage of our ten per cent price promise, helping us attract even more customers.”
Asda also announced today it was extending its push on quality into non food with the introduction of a new premium homeware brand ‘Elegant Living’. The range of bedding, bath, cook and dine products has been jointly sourced with Walmart, enabling Asda to match the quality and style found on the high street, while offering customers prices up to 30 per cent lower.
The range includes 100 per cent Egyptian cotton towels (800 GSM), 100 per cent Egyptian cotton bedding, 18/8 grade stainless steel pans*, and hard anodised aluminium pans with Teflon non-stick bases.
Earlier today Asda announced it was rewarding its colleagues with a share of a £26.9m bonus. Andy Clarke added: “There is no doubt in my mind that the colleagues working in our stores and depots are the heroes of our business. They have worked incredibly hard this year to deliver the best for our customers – taking everything from the difficult economic climate to the great British weather in their stride. I take my hat off to them.”