Asda has revealed it is gearing up for a “record Christmas” after it revealed its like-for-like sales increased by 2.7% YOY.
The trading quarter for the three months ending 30 September, which coincided with the end of the first UK-wide lockdown and the re-opening of the hospitality sector, saw growth driven by “strong” performances in core grocery, back to school clothing and online shopping.
It revealed that combined net sales for Asda.com and George.com increased by 72% year-on-year.
The supermarket added it expects this rapid growth in online shopping to continue during Q4 and has increased the capacity of its grocery home shopping service to 765,000 weekly slots in response. Asda has also extended its delivery partnerships trial with Uber Eats from 50 to 100 stores.
Asda is already seeing a surge in demand for Christmas products and “lockdown-proof” festive essentials as customers start their preparations earlier than in previous years. Sales of Christmas trees have increased by 83% year-on-year, festive lights by 57%, Christmas puddings by 71% and mince pies by 44%.
There are also signs that customers are preparing to celebrate Christmas differently this year with smaller gatherings rather than larger groups due to restrictions on meeting friends and family. Sales of frozen turkey crowns, which typically serve 3-4 people, have increased by 230% year-on-year.
Roger Burnley, Asda CEO and president, said: “After a rollercoaster year it’s clear our customers are already planning for a very different Christmas. We have already seen a marked shift in buying patterns with customers stocking up their freezers and cupboards with festive essentials earlier than ever before, which suggests they are getting used to expecting the unexpected but preparing to enjoy themselves as much as possible.
“Whatever happens during the next few weeks, we are totally focused on delivering a great Christmas for our customers during these uncertain times.”
Asda continued to accelerate its in-store partnerships strategy during the quarter by joining forces with B&Q to trial four compact DIY stores within its Asda’s superstores, with the first two opening in Sheffield and Dagenham later this year.
Asda also recently announced an exclusive trial partnership with leading toy retailer The Entertainer and expanded its current trial partnership with MusicMagpie to 36 stores.
It also added the acquisition of Asda by the Issa brothers and TDR capital “remains on track” to complete in H1 2021 subject to regulatory approval.