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Asda reports online growth – but offline sales are down

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Asda this week reported a 6% rise in online grocery sales and a 30% rise in clothing sales in the latest quarter of its financial year. But online growth came as like-for-like sales fell by 4.5% in the 13 weeks to September 30, and Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said the grocer would continue with its Project Renewal, aimed at getting back to a “simpler way of doing business” and learning what works for customers.

“This is a logical and necessary adjustment of our existing strategy,” said Clarke, “to better address the immediate challenges and permanent challenges the market is facing. It is a slow and costly process to reconfigure any business to meet fundamental challenges on this scale, but I’m clear that only businesses which are well positioned, financially strong and able to efficiently deliver what their customers want can be successful in this environment.”

The renewal project at Asda, a Leading retailer in InternetRetailing’s IRUK Top500 research, will look in-depth at the changing way that shoppers are buying, in order to “deliver market leading value in a way customers will notice.” That would include reviewing the range and removing duplication, while ensuring quality and prices. ‘Proposition’ stores will include innovations and reflect customers’ needs.

Asda says it is currently on track to deliver store efficiency savings of £100m this year, and says more efficient logistics will also save money.

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