Shoppers' weather wisdom boosts Asda

Supermarket chain Asda yesterday reported busier-than-usual trading in the two weeks before Christmas, saying shoppers had planned ahead to beat the bad weather.

After the snow left shoppers without last-minute essentials in 2009, Asda said many customers opted to split their big shop over two trips this year.

Last Thursday, - 23 December - was the chain's busiest festive day with a record four million customers across its 384 UK supermarkets. However, the fortnight leading up to Christmas saw 11 stores record sales of more than 7 million, compared with the nine that passed the figure in 2009.

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The company's stores at Boldon, Tyne & Wear and Havant, Hampshire, both took over 8m in the two weeks, while other leading stores included one of its three Edinburgh outlets.