// Asda like-for-likes slipped 0.5% in its third quarter
// This compares to a 0.5% rise in the previous quarter
// Asda CEO Roger Burnley and Walmart boss Doug McMillon blamed Brexit for the decline
Asda bosses have blamed “customer concerns over Brexit” after the Big 4 giant suffered a dip in sales over the past three months.
The Walmart-owned grocer reported a 0.5 per cent decline in like-for-like sales in third quarter period ending September 30, compared to a 0.5 per cent growth in the previous quarter.
Walmart chief executive and president Doug McMillon said Brexit fears “continue to negatively affect customer spending patterns” for the chain.
Asda chief executive Roger Burnley added that customers have had “little respite” from political and economic uncertainty in recent months, which has influenced spending.
- Union warns Asda’s contract row could affect shopper loyalty
- Asda pushes forward plastic reduction commitment
- Asda owner Walmart offloads pensions in £4bn deal as it eyes IPO
Earlier this week, market share data on the UK grocery sector from Kantar Worldpanel indicated that Asda saw sales decline by 1.2 per cent in the 12 weeks to November 3.
The Big 4 supermarkets all reported recent declines, according to Kantar Worldpanel, falling behind rapid growth from German discounter rivals Aldi and Lidl.
Asda and rival Sainsbury’s attempted to counteract the competition of the discounters by agreeing a multibillion-pound merger last year, but the move collapsed after it was blocked by the CMA in April.
In July, Burnley said Asda could be floated on the stock market in the next two or three years, as Walmart looks to offload the UK business.
Despite the slump in total sales, Asda said it saw “strong” online grocery sales over the period, which it claimed was “two times the growth of the overall market”.
Burnley said the retailer would “work hard to keep prices low” for customers despite weaker consumer spending.
“I am absolutely committed to securing the future of our business for the benefit of our colleagues, our customers and our communities – whatever external challenges we may face,” he said.
“As we enter the busiest trading period of the year, I am confident that we are ready and raring to go and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to every one of our colleagues, who I know will pull out all the stops to make this Christmas extra special for our customers.
“Whilst the retail sector continues to face challenges as a whole, I know that Asda is built on strong foundations and is at its best when we are able to work as one team, delivering for our customers.”