Asda sales dip 0.7% as online demand wanes

Asda has pointed the finger at flagging online demand and 2020’s high watermark as its third-quarter sales fell slightly.

From July 1 to September 30, excluding fuel, like-for-like sales dipped 0.7 per cent to £4.9 billion.

The supermarket claimed that last year’s statistics were inflated by “ongoing social distancing restrictions, which resulted in more meals being consumed at home”.

However, sales were up two per cent on 2019 levels, while demand for food jumped 3.4 per cent.

READ MORE: Asda selling beer on tap in sustainability push

The grocer also noted that demand for online deliveries had “softened slightly”, down 2.7 per cent on last year.

Separate data from NielsenIQ shows that online supermarket sales dropped by 8 per cent in the four weeks to November 6.

However, Covid appears to have had a lasting effect on Asda customers, with purchases through the website up 80 per cent in two years.

Christmas is expected to bring a surge in sales in what is traditionally known as the “golden” fourth quarter.

In a bid to stop its supply chain snapping under the weight of festive demand, Asda has hired an extra 15,000 temporary staff, upped delivery slots to a million per week, and chartered a cargo ship.

It has also increased the number of turkeys and pigs in blankets in store since last year, and built up extra stock of mince pies and Christmas puddings.

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