Asda sales up despite fall in shoppers

Sales at Asda increased 0.5% in the second quarter of the year, despite a drop in shopper numbers.

The Wal-Mart owned supermarket says that customer numbers fell by 1.2% in the three months to 30 June but that the average basket spend increased by 1.7%.

Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart International president and CEO describes Asda’s performance as “solid” although the supermarket reported a fall in year on year market share yesterday, according to Kantar Worldpanel data.

Tesco posted a 0.1% dip in like for like sales for the three months to 28 May while Sainsbury’s performed better with a 1.9% increase in like for like sales excluding sales in the quarter ending 11 June.

Asda also reported a fall in operating income of $31m (£18.9m) following the acquisition of Netto but says its conversion of former Netto stores under the Asda brand is “on course to be one of the most successful retail integrations”.

The Netto acquisition is part of Asda’s strategy to operate smaller format stores that offer the same range and prices as its superstores.

The supermarket claims that customers are using its Asda Price Guarantee site to check the prices of more that 250,000 shopping baskets each week.

McMillon adds: “Economic indicators suggest that 2011 will remain a challenging year for our U.K. consumers, and we’re confident that Asda and its Netto store conversions are entering the second half of the year with good momentum, delivering availability and every day low prices.”

Separately, Asda has said it will invest £5m in customer service ahead of the Christmas season as part of its commitment to “delivering for customers during tough times and setting the pace in service, as well as price and quality”.

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