The UK’s third largest grocer Asda has reported yet another quarter of falling sales, despite its chief executive praising “improvement”.
In the first quarter to March 31 the retailer posted a 2.8 per cent decline in sales, marking its 11th quarter of falling figures in a row.
Its decline did show marginal improvement on last quarter, where it dropped by 2.9 per cent. It is also a market improvement from its worst ever quarter last August where it dropped 7.5 per cent.
According to Kantar, Asda’s sales grew by 0.8 per cent in the 12 weeks to April 23, marking the first rise since October 2014. Its market share continued to drop over the period, from 16 per cent to 15.6 per cent.
READ MORE: 135,000 Asda staff to get pay rise
Chief executive of the Walmart-owned ailing grocer Sean Clarke said: “We’re pleased that the momentum of the fourth quarter has continued into the New Year with a third consecutive quarter of improvement.
“We’re delivering more consistently for our customers, particularly in fresh food, service and availability – both in stores and online.
“Participation in our award-winning Own Brand ranges has increased as we focus on increasing its value and quality and make sure we are offering the right ranges for our customers.
“Despite this progress, we are in no way complacent and there is still much for us to do.”
Clarke was flown in last summer by Walmart in an effort to turn around Asda’s financial fortunes. His strategy so far has been to cut the prices of everyday essential items by an average of 15 per cent, alongside improving the quality of its products.