Asda posts drop in first quarter sales
Asda has posted a 9.2% drop in first quarter like-for-like sales compared to the corresponding “exceptional” period at the same time last year, which coincided with the UK’s third national lockdown.
In the three months to 31 March, Asda’s like-for-like food sales declined by 7% year-on-year as people ate fewer meals at home due to the easing of lockdown restrictions. Clothing and general merchandise sales were also down, falling by 19.3% and 23.7% after sales in the first quarter of the prior year benefited from the closure of non-essential retail.
Asda said its results also reflect the stark challenges facing UK families during the cost of living crisis. The supermarket’s latest Income Tracker has found that households’ disposable income dropped by £40.38 per week year-on-year in April, which was the largest fall since the tracker was created in 2008.
To help struggling households, the supermarket has invested over £90 million in expanding its new Just Essentials value range and ‘dropping and locking’ the price of over 100 popular products until the end of the year. It will also be increasing the pay of its hourly paid shop floor staff from £9.66 to £10.10 per hour from July.
Mohsin Issa, Asda’s co-owner said; “Asda has a strong heritage of investing in price and customers can trust us to be on their side when they need it the most. We are investing in helping our shoppers manage the challenges of the here and now, as well as progressing critical strategic initiatives including loyalty, convenience and enhancing our in-store offering, which will all deliver long-term value.”