Asda reports 0.3% rise in third quarter sales as it unveils five year strategy
Asda has reported that its like-for-like sales edged up 0.3% in the 13 weeks to 4 October to mark the twelfth consecutive period of positive growth.
The supermarket has also unveiled its strategic priorities for the next five years as it looks to improve its core business, extend its reach and expand the brand into new markets.
In a statement, Asda said it will achieve its aims by investing £1 billion in lowering prices and £250 million in quality, style and design over the next five years. It also plans to increase physical access to its brand from 53% to 70% by 2018.
The supermarket added that the £1 billion price investment will enable it to widen its price gap with the “big three” supermarkets and close the price gap with discounters.
Asda chief executive and president Andy Clarke said: "I’m pleased with our performance in the third quarter of this year. The market conditions are tough, competition is fierce and our customers’ budgets are under intense pressure. We’ve continued to invest in lowering prices which has held them down for our customers while driving volume growth. This means we enter the crucial fourth quarter in a solid position.
"We regard ourselves as the UK’s leading value retailer and it is against this backdrop that I have today set out our strategic priorities which will improve, extend and expand the business over the next five years."
The supermarket has set its sights on breaking into parts of the UK where its market share is low but where customer demand is high, with a particular emphasis on London and the South East. Plans will include expansion of its supermarket format and its growing number of standalone petrol filling stations. Innovation in large stores will also continue including the George 21 concept and the pilot announced last week which will see eight Barclays branches in stores from early 2014.
With online sales expected to generate £3 billion annual sales for Asda by 2018, the supermarket is planning to increase the number of Click & Collect locations from 218 to over 1,000 in the next five years.
The investments will be funded through savings generated by Asda’s continuing “We Operate For Less” programme, as well as through the global leveraging power it has with parent Walmart.
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