Asda vows it will stick to five-year plans despite a sales plunge as shoppers stay away

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Asda has cemented its position as the UK’s worst performing supermarket as bosses revealed a fourth consecutive fall in sales, showing the number of shoppers deserting the grocer is increasing.

Sales plunged a huge 4.7% in the 11 weeks to end of June, although chief executive Andy Clarke insisted the disappointing numbers were just a “short-term” issue. In the three months to April 19 sales fell 3.9%, showing falling sales are increasing.

Clarke said he will stick to a five year plan, which is three years through and involves cutting jobs and prices to compete with discounters Aldi and Lidl.

He added: “We continue to navigate a steady course through the worst storm in retail history, despite another challenging quarter.

“Predicting that 2015 was going to be a volatile year I didn’t expect to report a positive sales figure, but I’m not distracted by the short-term picture. We have an enviably stable business with balanced books and the right strategy to return us to sales growth.”

It tops off a difficult period for Asda, which has also borne the brunt of milk protests and was forced, along with rivals, to increase the amount it pays for milk after protesters brought cows to stores to raise awareness that they were being paid below production cost for milk.


Clarke continued to insist much of the fall was down to rivals introducing unprofitable prices and luring customers in with vouchering.

He said: “We won’t get side-tracked by the short-term fixes that are saturating the supermarket industry.”

However, questions could be raise over Clarke’s future, as rivals all outpace Asda, including recent data from Kantar Worldpanel, which showed Sainsbury’s overtook the supermarket to become the UK’s second biggest grocer behind Tesco for the first time in a decade, outside of Christmas.

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August 18, 2015 |
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