Asda has reported a 30% spike in online trading at its fashion arm George, bucking the downwards trend of the supermarket’s overall sales.
Like-for-like sales across the Walmart-owned supermarket fell 4.5% for the 13 weeks to September 30 due to price deflation and the “intensely competitive” market.
However, clothing sales grew ”ahead of the market” boosted by the back-to-school segment, which was up 9% year on year.
Asda launched an 18-month programme in October called Project Renewal, designed to get it back to a “simpler way of doing business”.
As part of the programme, it has worked with its suppliers to reduce its ranges by 10% in order to remove duplication. It did not say if this applied to food, clothing or both. It also plans to invest in revamping 95 of its larger stores.
Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said: “There’s no doubt this represents another challenging quarter. Sales volumes remain under pressure from price deflation and the intensely competitive background remains throughout the food sector.
”Having said that, we have the financial strength and clear plan to sustain us through this period, while we take appropriate and considered action to further strengthen our competitive position.”
He added: “I’m confident that by reinforcing our offer we can further extend our price advantage over major competitors and close the gap against the limited assortment discounters – not only on price, but across range, service and quality.”