Asda sees sales fall again but says trading has improved

Asda has reduced prices and improved the quality of its own brand goods
Asda has reduced prices and improved the quality of its own brand goods

Supermarket Asda has posted another hefty fall in sales, but said trading had improved as price cuts and turnaround efforts start to pay off.

The chain - owned by US giant Walmart - reported a 5.8% fall in like-for-likes sales, excluding petrol, in its third quarter to September 30.

This comes against a dire previous three months, when the group reported a 7.5% sales plunge in its worst quarterly performance on record.

New boss Sean Clarke, who took up the reins on July 11 replacing Andy Clarke, has slashed the prices of everyday items as he attempts to arrest falling sales at the group.

He said: “We have lowered thousands of prices, improved hundreds of own-brand products and invested in more hours for colleagues on the shop floor - so it’s encouraging to see more customers shopping with us in stores and online.”

Asda announced in September that it was lowering thousands of prices on everyday favourites by an average of 15%, with items such as beef, chicken and sausages all becoming cheaper.

The move, part of a new value campaign dubbed That’s Better, has also seen Asda improve the quality of its own-brand ranges.

The turnaround comes as Asda fights back having lost out recently in a brutal price war across the sector.

Walmart chief financial officer Brett Biggs said: “The key priority remains driving an improved customer experience and building sales momentum by simplifying the offer, improving product availability and making strategic investments in service and price.”

Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are attempting to fend off the challenge from German discounters Aldi and Lidl, which have steadily been eating their larger rivals’ market share.