Asda has revealed it has chartered its own cargo ship to protect the availability of key festive products in a bid to combat supply challenges and ensure shelves are stocked for Christmas.
Other measures include increasing the volume of turkeys and pigs in blankets in store compared to last year, as well as building extra stock of festive products in depots such as mince pies, confectionery, Christmas cakes and puddings.
It follows a recent trading update which saw the group’s like-for-like sales decline by 0.7% to £4.9bn during the period 1 July to 30 September 2021.
Demand for online groceries softened slightly during the quarter, with sales down by 2.7% when compared with the same period last year as more customers returned to shopping in store.
However, online sales remain “significantly” higher than pre-pandemic levels, up by 80% on the same period two-years ago.
Asda’s like-for-like clothing sales increased post-lockdown, up by 1.2% in Q3, with the back-to-school range proving to be popular with customers.
Meanwhile like-for-like general merchandise sales dropped by 3.1% during the quarter.
Asda owners Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa, said: “Our colleagues have pulled out all the stops during the last few months to make sure customers can get their favourite festive products at Asda and enjoy the Christmas they deserve.
“Looking ahead, our plans to rollout Asda on The Move remain firmly on track and will open up significant growth opportunities in the convenience channel. We are also highly encouraged by the early uptake of our Asda Rewards loyalty programme and look forward to bringing this trial to customers in more stores next year.”