Asda cheers first quarterly sales rise in three years

Asda has lowering prices on many items and improved its own brand goods
Asda has lowering prices on many items and improved its own brand goods

Asda has posted its first quarterly sales growth in three years as a fightback led by chief executive Sean Clarke begins to bear fruit.

The supermarket, reported a 1.8% rise in like-for-like sales in the second quarter, bringing an end to 11 consecutive quarters of deterioration.

Figures have been boosted by a combination of price cuts and rising inflation, and come a year after Asda reported its worst quarterly performance on record when sales tumbled by 7.5%.

Doug McMillon, CEO at Asda’s US owner Walmart said he was encouraged at the positive comparative sales.

“In June, I visited Asda to see the progress being made. Customers are responding to investments in price and store experience by visiting the stores more often and increasing their basket sizes.

“There’s still much more to be done, but we’re clearly headed in the right direction.”

Mr Clarke, who took up the reins last summer after being parachuted in to replace previous boss Andy Clarke, has slashed the prices of everyday items as part of attempts to arrest falling sales.

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.

Mr Clarke said more shoppers were choosing Asda, but warned that the supermarket must up its game.

“Our continued focus on delivering great value and service meant 275,000 new customers chose to shop at Asda in the second quarter, particularly during Easter, which saw us return to positive comp growth.