Asda sales fall for 11th quarter in a row

Asda sales fall for 11th quarter in a row

For the 11th consecutive quarter, Asda has reported a fall in sales as it continues to fall behind its rivals.

Currently, Asda is the UK’s third biggest supermarket, however sales in the three months to the end of March dropped by 2.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

This did represent a marginal improvement on the previous quarter, however analysts have warned the company that much more work was needed.

Slightly more positively for the retailer, its parent company, Walmart, enjoyed a 1.4 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in the US.

This quarters fall was not even close to the disastrous drop of 7.5 per cent seen last August, and was very better than the fall of 2.9 per cent from the final three months of 2016.

However, chief executive Sean Clarke admitted more needed to be done to recover.

He said: “We’re pleased that the momentum of Q4 has continued into the New Year with a third consecutive quarter of improvement.

“Despite this progress, we are in no way complacent and there is still much for us to do.”

The bosses in the US describe the results as a “sequential improvement”, and take the lack of a leap year and a later Easter into account.

Asda also saw the number of shoppers coming through their doors drop by 2 per cent, and the average customer spend also fell 0.8 per cent.

Asda has had the hardest time of all the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets, which also includes Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.

The others all have their problems, yet have managed to get back on track over the last year.

The ‘Big Four’ has seen its market share eaten into by discount stores Aldi and Lidl, although their expansion has slowed.

Tom Berry, associate retail analyst at GlobalData, said: “Asda’s position as the main UK discounter prior to Aldi and Lidl’s arrival, means they will suffer greatest in terms of losses in market share.”

In the US, Walmart said it was a “sold first quarter” for the business, with sales hitting $117.5bn, which was in line with analysts’ expectations.