Asda posts “disappointing” Q1 results

Asda says sales during the first quarter have been disappointing as the supermarket struggles to keep up with rivals.

Asda

Like for like sales at the supermarket fell 0.3% while total sales growth was in the “low single digits” for the 12 weeks ending 31 March.

Andy Bond, departing CEO and new chairman of the Asda executive committee, says the results are “disappointing” but that Asda is “making good progress”.

He added that the supermarket has reduced the number of promotions in store, in line with its strategy to return its focus to Every Day Low Prices and that since the launch of the Asda Price Guarantee in April, its price position and price perception have “never been stronger”.

Last month Asda revealed a five-year strategy to become the “market leader in general merchandise and clear number two for food” as well as broaden its non-food offer and improve its food and e-commerce operations, which Bond says is already taking shape.

Former chief operations officer Andy Clarke was promoted to chief executive last week, and the chain is still looking for a replacement. Asda is also looking for a replacement for Darren Blackhurst, who resigned as chief merchandise director earlier this month.

Doug McMillon, president & CEO of Asda parent company Wal-Mart International, says: “Asda has recently made good progress towards their strategic goals. I am confident that our strong leadership team, led by Andy Clarke, will continue this progress and deliver positive sales momentum for the remainder of the year.”

Andy Clarke, Asda’s new CEO adds: “It is our responsibility to deliver the plan we’ve laid out, and by doing so help lower the cost of living for our customers.”

The supermarket also revealed that it is investing £12m in “frontline services” to assist customers and reduce queues.

The latest Kantar Worldpanel figures show that Asda’s market price dipped to 16.9% and its growth slowed to 2.5%, well behind the rest of the sector.

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