Asda promises there will be plenty of turkeys and pigs in blankets this Christmas

Asda said that its shelves will be well stocked this Christmas after it took action to overcome the industry-wide supply chain challenges.

The Leeds-based firm said it has increased the volume of turkeys and pigs in blankets in store compared with last year.

It has also built up extra stock of festive products such as mince pies, confectionery, Christmas cakes and puddings in its depots. In addition, the supermarket chartered its own cargo ship to protect the availability of key festive products including Christmas decorations, toys, clothing and gifts.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

The grocer has also recruited 15,000 temporary colleagues to serve customers during the busy Christmas period and increased the capacity of its grocery home delivery service to 1 million slots in the final week before Christmas – up from 765,000 slots in the fourth quarter of last year.

Asda enhanced its online offering with the launch of a one-hour ‘Express Delivery’ service in June

The festive update coincided with the news that Asda's third quarter like-for-like sales (excluding fuel) fell 0.7 per cent compared with the same period in 2020.

Its third quarter sales last year were boosted by the ongoing social distancing restrictions, which resulted in more meals being consumed at home.

Asda said that like-for-like sales remain resilient on a two-year basis with growth of 2 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2019. The trading quarter covered the period from July 1 to September 30.

The lockdown trend of customers treating themselves to premium own-label products continued and Asda has added more than 200 new products to its ‘Extra Special’ range this year in response.

This investment in quality has helped make Extra Special the fastest growing premium range of the Big Four supermarkets and discounters, growing ahead of the total market by 8 per cent, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Demand for online groceries softened slightly during the quarter, with sales down 2.7 per cent on the same period last year as more customers returned to shopping in store. However, online sales remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, up by 80 per cent on the same period two years ago.

The supermarket chain enhanced its online offering with the launch of a one-hour ‘Express Delivery’ service in June giving customers faster and more convenient delivery options.

Asda said that the opportunity to shop its full online range for delivery in an hour has proved to be hugely popular with customers and has since been rolled out to 147 stores. Asda has also expanded its rapid delivery partnership with Uber Eats to more than 300 stores.

The Issa brothers and private equity backer TDR Capital completed the acquisition of Asda earlier this year.

Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa said: “We know how much Christmas means to our customers, especially after some missed out on celebrations with friends and family last year.

"Our colleagues have pulled out all the stops during the last few months to make sure customers can get their favourite festive products at Asda and enjoy the Christmas they deserve and we’d like to thank them for their continued effort and commitment to serving our customers.

“Looking ahead, our plans to rollout Asda on The Move remain firmly on track and will open up significant growth opportunities in the convenience channel. We are also highly encouraged by the early uptake of our Asda Rewards loyalty programme and look forward to bringing this trial to customers in more stores next year.”

Asda recently announced the appointments of Lord Stuart Rose as chairman and Dame Alison Carnwath as a non-executive director.

Asda said that the new appointments significantly strengthen its board and demonstrate a clear commitment to the strong governance of the business by its owners, the Issa brothers and TDR Capital.

Read More

Read More
Asda appoints former Marks & Spencer chief as its new chairman