UK: Asda rounds off year with Q4 sales fall

By Dean Best | 20 February 2014

UK market "undergoing significant and permanent structural change", Asda claimed

UK market "undergoing significant and permanent structural change", Asda claimed

Asda, the UK's second-largest grocer, ended its 2013 financial year with a fall in underlying sales in the fourth quarter.

In the 13 weeks to the 3 January, Asda saw comparable sales drop 0.1%, underling the retailer's worsening sales performance as it moved throughout the year.

For its third quarter, like-for-like sales were up 0.3%. In the second quarter, LFLs were up 0.7%; in the first quarter, they increased 1.3%.

Over the year as a whole, Asda's comparable sales inched up 0.5%.

Asda parent Wal-Mart, which also issued its fourth-quarter and annual results today, said its UK arm saw its operating income fall 1.5% in the quarter thanks to "expense headwinds".

Wal-Mart cited "indirect taxation, employment costs and investments in e-commerce".

Asda CEO Andy Clarke said: "It will come as no surprise that 2013 was a tough year for UK retailers and there's little doubt that the UK retail market is undergoing significant and permanent structural change."

However, Clarke said Asda had moved to "redefine value retailing in the UK" and pointed to its announcement in November it would spend GBP1bn on lowering prices in a bid to "widen the gap" with its big three rivals, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. 

The offensive on price was one of a set of "strategic priorities" for the next five years.

Asda plans to spend GBP250m on "quality, style and design" across its product portfolio and expand further in parts of the UK where its market share is low, particularly London and the South East. It also plans more investment online, with a target of 1,000 click-and-collect points in the next five years.

-----

Over the next fortnight, we'd like to hear how you see the outlook for your business in 2014.

Now in its third year, the just-food Confidence Survey provides a snapshot of how you and your colleagues in the industry see the year unfolding. The latest survey is live and takes just a few moments to fill in.

In the coming weeks, we'll be reporting on the highlights from the survey in a free webinar live on just-food.com.

As a thank you for filling in the survey, you'll receive an executive summary detailing the results.

Sectors: Financials, Retail

Companies: Asda, Wal-Mart

There are currently no comments on this article

Be the first to comment on this article

Related research

Wal-Mart Super center China: Consumer Profile

Wal-Mart Super center China: Consumer Profile is the result of Canadean’s extensive online consumer survey Wal-Mart Super center in China, presenting uniquely detailed data on Wal-Mart Super center’s end-consumers. It provides retailer profiles for b...

Wal-Mart US: Consumer Profile

Product Wal-Mart US: Consumer Profile is the result of Canadean’s extensive online consumer survey Wal-Mart in the US, presenting uniquely detailed data on Wal-Mart’s end-consumers. It provides retailer profiles for both Main and Occasional consumer...

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc: Growth of the world's largest retailer

Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world. The company has retail stores worldwide, with 10,773 stores recorded across 27 countries at the end of January 2013. Despite the dominant position the company now holds, Wal-Mart was initially establishe...

Related articles

Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

Olive oil giant Deoleo this week announced its board had backed a takeover bid from private-equity giant CVC Capital Partners. Elsewhere, Mondelez International announced plans for another plant in Russia and the political party that looks set to be the major party in India's next government said it would ban foreign supermarkets entering the country's retail sector.

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

Food retailers eyeing India would have been surprised to hear the BJP political party, tipped to lead the country's next government, publish a tough stance on foreign investment in its retail sector. Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke hinted the food giant could be looking at further disposals and Wal-Mart said more affordable organic groceries would be available in the US after a tie-up with the recently-revived Wild Oats brand.

US: Wal-Mart teams up with Wild Oats brand in organic push

Wal-Mart has announced a notable push into the US organic food category with plans to list a range of products under the recently-revived Wild Oats brand.

Welcome to the home of food information, insight & intelligence

Not a member? Join here

Decrease font sizeDecrease font sizeDecrease font size Increase font sizeIncrease font sizeIncrease font size Comment on this article Email this to a friend Print this page