// Asda sales drop in third quarter as it ensures shoppers of good availability
// From July 1 to September 30, like-for-like sales fell 0.7% to £4.9bn
// Demand for online delivery “softened slightly” during the period
Asda has reported that its like-for-like sales in the third quarter have dropped as the grocer attempts to ensure customers of good availability ahead of Christmas.
For the period from July 1 to September 30, like-for-like sales fell 0.7 per cent to £4.9 billion excluding fuel.
The grocer said sales were down compared to the same period last year because “sales were boosted by the ongoing social distancing restrictions, which resulted in more meals being consumed at home”.
On a two-year basis, Asda sales were up two per cent overall and food sales were up 3.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
The grocer also noted that demand for online delivery “softened slightly” during the period, with sales down 2.7 per cent on the same period last year as more customers returned to shopping in-store.
However, online sales on a two-year basis were up 80 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
Meanwhile, clothing sales for the period increased 1.2 per cent in the period, while general merchandise sales were down 3.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
Asda said it has outlined measures to ensure good availability of food, clothes and general merchandise as it faces the ongoing supply chain crisis.
It has increased the volume of turkeys and pigs in blankets in store compared to last year, as well as building extra stock of festive products in depots such as mince pies, confectionery, Christmas cakes and puddings.
The retailer has hired an extra 15,000 temporary staff to deal with the increased Christmas trade, and has upped its available delivery slots to one million a week.