When the whole world’s watching, it helps to be on top form, and that’s the case for Asda as the supermarket giant this week reported its fifth consecutive quarter of rising sales.
Despite an unpredictable consumer climate in the second quarter, Asda reported a 0.4 per cent rise in like-for-like sales.
That makes it the first time the retailer has outperformed the market in four years.
“We remain focused on delivering our strategic priorities and investing in the areas that matter most to our customers – innovation in our own brand, lowering prices and in continuously improving our shopping experience both in store and online,” chief executive Roger Burnley said in light of the results.
Asda reported its online business had experienced a 13 per cent sales boost in the 12 weeks to the end of June, while its clothing line George.com recorded a 25 per cent rise in sales.
Asda said it had targeted price investment in the quarter, as well as “strengthening performance in non-food categories”.
The results come after Asda and Sainsbury’s took the retail industry by surprise in April by revealing they were planning to merge their businesses.
The so-called “mega-merger” is currently under review by the Competition and Market Authority, who are working with Oxford University economics professor Howard Smith to assist with the review of the proposed deal.
The move would give Asda owner Walmart around £3 billion in cash and a 42 per cent stake in the combined business.
However, it’s also thought the two supermarkets will be forced to sell a portion of their 2,800 UK stores to satisfy the CMA’s review.
If successful, the merger would create a giant supermarket with an estimated value of £15 billion and a market share larger than current supermarket leader Tesco.