Asda has forecast that it will generate at least 10% of sales of its clothing range George from online.
Speaking as Asda said like-for-like sales at the grocer rose 6% in the year to the end of January 31 and 4.6% in the fourth quarter, Asda chief executive Andy Bond said George.com, together with food and homewares site Asda Direct, attracted “more than 65,000 product reviews”.
Both websites are supported through an instore collect service, which will be available nationwide from next month.
Bond said George is focused on offering even greater value. Its Wedding collection will offer couples wanting to keep costs down the chance to kit out their entire wedding party for under £200.
Bond added that US parent Walmart’s strategic agreement with supplier Li & Fung, which was unveiled in January, “will lead to lower prices in a number of non-food categories”.
He said Asda will lower costs further this year via its sourcing deal with Walmart as part of the US group’s Global Merchandising Centres strategy. The George team at Lutterworth is acting as the global hub for fashion.
Walmart’s deal with Li & Fung will further enhance this sourcing deal, Bond added.
He said: “Through a combination of better joint sourcing of product with Walmart; the introduction of new global merchandising centres; and removing the middleman wherever possible, we’re set to unlock the full potential of our relationship with Walmart, leveraging its global scale far more effectively, which in turn will lead to lowering prices for customers.”
Chief executive Andy Bond said growth at the grocer over the full year was driven primarily by an increase in customer numbers and a higher average spend.
Bond said that the final few weeks of the fourth quarter – Asda’s busiest trading period – was impacted by “some of the most challenging weather conditions we’ve ever experienced”.
Bond added the grocer would accelerate the roll out of Asda Living, which houses George alongside its homewares ranges.
He said: “Our growth strategy is in good shape and we are well set to open a new chapter and broaden and accelerate our business, grow customer numbers and increase our market share.”
Asda revealed this morning that its staff would share a bonus pot of £26m - 18% higher than last year’s payout. It will also create 6,000 new jobs this year to cope with ten new store openings and ten store extensions.
Bond will also host a customer web chat online at 2pm today, at www.asda.com/yourasda.