Asda’s like-for-like sales have dipped 1.6% during the third quarter of 2014, across both food and general merchandise.
The decline in the 13 weeks to September 30 is in contrast to a 0.6% uplift during the second quarter. The drop is attributed to a “distressed market for all major retailers,” during which discounters continued to win out. Asda had not seen a fall in sales since 2010.
It is not yet known how George has performed during the period.
Online, however, continued to grow for the supermarket retailer, with sales rising 19.6% during the period. Asda chief executive and president Andy Clarke was keen to stress the retailer has grown market share to 17.3%.
“We have a clear understanding of the challenge we face as a business,” said Clarke. “When I launched our strategy a year ago I said that the market was beginning to polarise between the premium retailers and the discounters – and the traditional players would be squeezed. Asda has begun to step away from the ‘Big Four’ and outperform its traditional competitors. We have more to do on the discounters – but we continue to close the gap on price and offer ten times the range across stores and online.
“The last quarter has seen a shockwave go through our industry and others are starting to respond to the challenges they face. I expect that we will see another tough quarter and I’m under no illusions that the battle continues to rage.”