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Asda focuses more closely on how the customer wants to buy

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Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said the company would stick to its strategy, focusing in particular on how shoppers want to buy from it, as the supermarket this week reported a 4.7% sales fall in the second quarter of its financial year.

Clarke described the decline, in the 11 weeks to June 30, as “disappointing, but a short term picture” and said the supermarket would not throw off course its strategy, at whose heart is the multichannel shopper who wants to buy whenever, wherever and however they want.

Asda is almost two years into a five-year transformation plan, designed to “redefine value retailing in the UK”. It includes investing £1bn in lower prices, while adding more click and collect locations and developing new stores.

This week Clarke said: “It is prudent to take a look at the ever-changing shopping habits of today’s customers and accelerate the parts of the strategy that will make the most difference to them.”

He added: “We’re currently completing an intensive piece of research to understand what drives current buying decisions so that we can deliver real solutions for our customers in the ‘Asda way’. We won’t get side-tracked by the short-term fixes that are saturating the supermarket industry.”

Chief financial officer Alex Russo said: “Behind the negative sales number lies a more positive story for Asda. We are maintaining balance in an impulsive market and performing solidly in growth channels, maximising and accelerating our areas of strength while addressing areas of underperformance.”

Image: (c) Transport for London

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