SUPERMARKET group Asda pledged to accelerate investment in stores and “click and collect” points after sales growth slowed in the second quarter.
Britain’s second-biggest grocer saw like-for-like sales excluding fuel and VAT grow 0.7 per cent in the 12 weeks to 5 July.
Despite widespread evidence that the economy has gained momentum, the number is lower than the 1.3 per cent rise seen in the first quarter of 2013.
The retailer said it plans to raise its investment in technology and infrastructure associated with its “clicks and bricks” sales drive.
Chief executive Andy Clarke said the company was pleased with its latest results “in a tough market”.
He added: “Our focus on opening up more ways for more customers to shop with us, particularly in areas currently underserved by Asda, provides us with real opportunity to grow space and channels to adapt our business to today’s customer.
“I’m confident this focus will continue to drive growth in a sustainable way.”
Asda will expand its site acquisition activities, aiming to open more supermarkets, petrol stations and collection sites for items bought online. It said it was maximising its relationship with parent company Walmart to bring new in-store and technology innovations from the US to the UK.
Asda, which has an estimated 17.3 per cent share of the grocery market, said it expects 75 per cent of customers to shop through multiple channels this Christmas.