Asda says it will continue to invest in multichannel services at a time of falling sales.
As the supermarket today announced a 1% fall in like-for-like sales for the year to December 31, and a 2.6% fall in the 12 weeks to January 4, Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said Asda was firmly focused on its long-term plan to expand and improve the Asda store estate, focusing on multichannel services such as click and collect.
In 2014 Asda opened 200 new click and collect sites, taking its total to 600 – halfway towards its target to have 1,000 by 2018 – while also doubling its click and collect points in London Underground stations.
In 2015, the supermarket plans to put £600m into opening 17 new stores and setting up 150 remote click and collect points. It will also remodel 62 stores as it looks to reflect the changing way that shoppers now buy.
Clarke said: “2014 saw an acceleration in the structural shift in the market and whilst we saw it brewing and put the right plan in place to address it – delivering solid wins for our business and keeping the ship steady in a turbulent market, the pace and scale of change has exceeded all expectations.
“The first year of our plan was very much about building the foundations –a work out to limber us up for what is to come in 2015 – by leading the price agenda in a deflationary market. We have a clear plan for sustainable, profitable growth and creates a proposition that gives customers what they want.
“I’m pleased that we can announce our continued investment in the UK with £600m for new and improved stores in 2015. With such a powerful force like Walmart behind us that fully supports our strategy, we’re in a unique position in a difficult market – a position of great strength.”