ASDA has revealed further trading woes after posting another hefty drop in sales in what it described as “another challenging quarter”.
The chain, which is owned by US retail giant Walmart, said like-for-like sales fell 4.5 per cent in the 13 weeks to the end of September.
This comes after a 4.7 per cent fall seen in the group’s second quarter – its worst ever quarterly sales slide – described at the time by Asda boss Andy Clarke as the group’s “nadir”.
He said yesterday that the latest sales decline came as the “intensely competitive background remains throughout the food sector,” but put faith in his Project Renewal turnaround plan, announced last month.
Clarke said the 18-month initiative aims to deliver “market-leading value in a way customers will notice” and includes a refurbishment of 95 large stores.
He said: “It is a slow and costly process to reconfigure any business to meet fundamental challenges on this scale, but I’m clear that only businesses which are well positioned, financially strong and able to efficiently deliver what their customers want can be successful in this environment.”
Asda’s chief finance officer, Alex Russo, said store efficiency savings were on track to deliver £100 million this year.
• The chain’s quarterly figures came as industry data from Kantar Worldpanel showed that rival Sainsbury’s has overtaken Asda to claim its spot as the UK’s second-largest supermarket.
Kantar said Asda’s takings dropped 3.5 per cent in the 12 weeks to 8 November – the worst performance among the “big four” grocers during the period.