Asda today said it would invest more than £700m to accelerate the pace of development in its multichannel business. Innovations will include same-day delivery for online grocery orders, billed as a ‘world-first’ and set to be introduced this year.
Other innovations will include the introduction of grocery Click and Collect to almost 200 outlets by the end of 2013, and Click and Collect for George clothing and general merchandise from all its 568 stores.
The news came as the Walmart-owned supermarket reported a 4.5% boost to total sales in 2012 to £22.8bn, up from £21.8bn the previous year.
Andy Clarke, president and chief executive of Asda, said: “I’m proud that in the continuing and very challenging trading environment we were able to increase total sales by 4.5% last year. This shows that we are continuing to get it right for customers.
“By focusing on their needs through accelerating our investment in the technology and infrastructure to make shopping more convenient, customers can shop for what they want, when they want it.”
Since grocery Click and Collect was introduced last autumn, said the supermarket, it has accounted for 4% of all home shopping grocery orders. Recent developments include the opening of a drive through Click and Collect facility in York last month which combines food and non-food orders for collection in one place, and the launch last month of Asda’s third purpose-built online picking centre, which has created more than 600 new jobs and offers extended delivery between 6am and 11pm.
Meanwhile the supermarket said it would also open 10 new stores in 2013, on top of two that have already opened, adding more than 340,000 sq ft of net selling space this year.