// Asda posts 1.3% decline in like-for-like sales in the “golden quarter” ending December 31
// The Big 4 grocer said its food business was stable but trading in its clothing arm was challenging
Asda has blamed a sales slump during the most critical trading quarter of the year on “challenging market conditions” and “cautious” customer mind set.
For the Big 4’s fourth quarter ending December 31, known industry-wide as the “golden quarter since it includes Black Friday and Christmas trading periods, like-for-like sales declined by 1.3 per cent.
Asda said it was “impacted by challenging market conditions, particularly in clothing” during the period, but was bolstered by a more stable performance by its core food business.
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The retailer also highlighted that its home shopping operation grew 10.3 per cent year-on-year for the quarter.
Meanwhile, Asda said it refreshed seven stores across its UK portfolio – of which the £5 million refurbishment of its Edinburgh Jewel store was a part.
“We know that our customers’ mindsets during the quarter were cautious and whilst customers were enthusiastic for Christmas, they were more mindful in their spending – with many choosing to pare back gift lists and focus presents on kids rather than adults and extended family,” chief executive Roger Burnley said.
“We continued to improve our price position versus the previous quarter, and year on year, whilst our trusted combination of great value and quality ranges with a touch of Asda personality resonated strongly with customers.
“We’re ambitious to deliver even more for customers in 2020 and have entered the year with an even sharper focus on driving forward our strategy, which is anchored in saving our customers time as well as money.”
with PA Wires