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Asda updates on Q4 performance and Christmas trading

February 18, 2021 00:31pm
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  • Like for like sales increase by 5.1% in Q4 and 6.9% in the 8 weeks to 24th December

  • Christmas performance driven by strong demand for premium ranges as customers ‘trade up’ and treat themselves after a difficult year

  • Home shopping capacity increased to 850k weekly slots to meet surge in demand

Asda and Walmart have today published earnings for the fourth quarter of 2020 covering the period from 1st October to 31st December.

The trading quarter, which included the Christmas period, saw Asda’s like-for-like sales excluding fuel increase by 5.1%, and by 6.9% in the eight weeks to 24th December.

Asda’s growth during the period was driven by a notable shift in shopping behaviour with customers trading up and spending more on premium categories at Christmas to treat themselves after a difficult year. Demand for premium Extra Special lines increased significantly, particularly in the meat, fish and poultry categories, with sales in December up by 30% year on year.

The supermarket continued to see strong growth in the online channel during the quarter, with combined net sales for Asda.com and George.com increasing by 76% year-on-year. This comes after Asda increased its grocery home shopping capacity by 90% to 850,000 weekly slots between March and December 2020.

Roger Burnley, Asda CEO & President, said: “Our focus on keeping prices low, providing great quality products and keeping customers safe when they visit our stores were key to delivering a strong performance across the quarter and particularly during the busy Christmas period.

“The festive season was like no other and I am proud of the way Asda colleagues responded to the exceptional circumstances they faced. It was only right that we recognised their hard work by closing our stores on Boxing Day so the vast majority of them could spend more time with their family during this period.”

Asda continued to accelerate its in-store partnerships strategy during the quarter, with the addition of Accessorize, one of the UK’s most-loved fashion brands, to its partnerships stable. The retailer has opened an ‘in-aisle’ fixture in Asda’s Sutton Coldfield store selling a range of bags, jewellery and seasonal clothing.

The supermarket also opened the first two compact B&Q stores opening inside its Sheffield and Dagenham stores during the quarter and extended its partnerships with musicMagpie, Claire’s Accessories and Decathlon to further stores across its estate.

Roger Burnley said: “As a business, we have demonstrated huge resilience during the last quarter – and year as a whole - supporting customers and communities during the most challenging of times. Helping local communities recover from the pandemic remains a key priority this year – as the recent launch of our in-store Covid vaccination service and starting the donation of 7,000 laptops to schools to tackle digital exclusion during lockdown shows.”

Note to Editors – Whilst the acquisition of Asda by the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital Ltd completed on February 16th 2021, the period outlined in this statement fell within Walmart’s ownership of Asda.

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