Asda has revealed better than expected sales due to what it says is a growing army of shoppers hunting for low prices.
The UK’s second largest supermarket chain said like-for-like sales for last three months of 2008 grew by 7.2%. Annual like-for-like sales growth hit 6.5% – ahead of its own targets.
Asda was one of Which? members’ least favourite supermarket chains according to the latest Which? survey of high street shops. Our members disliked the store environment and the level of customer service.
Asda – owned by US giant Walmart – said it had gained 800,000 more customers on top of its existing 17 million shoppers during 2008.
The supermarket’s online sales grew by more than 40% over 2008 as it extended its home shopping service to cover more than 90% of the UK population.
Asda growth ahead of Tesco
Asda’s results are bad news for market leader Tesco, which suffered its worst Christmas for nearly 20 years.
Morrisons was the top performer of the big four over Christmas 2008 in terms of sales growth, with like-for-like sales over the festive period hitting 8.2%.
Value chains have thrived over the Christmas trading period at the expense of higher-priced competitors. Chains such as Aldi and Primark have reported strong results, while results for the likes of Marks and Spencer and Next were more muted.
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