Asda like-for-likes down in second quarter
Speaking in London, the supermarket’s president and chief executive, Andy Clarke, described the quarter’s number as “disappointing, but a short-term picture”.
Asda is two years into its five year strategy which focuses on improving the core business, extending the supermarket’s reach, and expanding the brand into new markets.
Clarke said: “We continue to navigate a steady course through the worst storm in retail history, despite another challenging quarter. Predicting that 2015 was going to be a volatile year I didn’t expect to report a positive sales figure, but I’m not distracted by the short-term picture. We have an enviably stable business with balanced books and the right strategy to return us to sales growth.”
Together with Asda’s chief financial officer Alex Russo, he also highlighted the steps being taken to accelerate the strategy including investments in service, stores and changes to maintain recent improvements in home shopping.
Clarke said: “It is prudent to take a look at the ever-changing shopping habits of today’s customers and accelerate the parts of the strategy that will make the most difference to them.
“We’re currently completing an intensive piece of research to understand what drives current buying decisions so that we can deliver real solutions for our customers in the “Asda way”. We won’t get side-tracked by the short-term fixes that are saturating the supermarket industry.”
Russo added: “Behind the negative sales number lies a more positive story for Asda. We are maintaining balance in an impulsive market and performing solidly in growth channels, maximising and accelerating our areas of strength while addressing areas of underperformance.”
Asda is investing £1 billion in lowering prices and £250 million in improving quality, style and design. The supermarket is also looking to give more people the opportunity to shop with Asda through the development of stores and click and collect locations.
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