Asda saw its sales tumble in the third quarter

Asda saw its sales tumble in the third quarter

The key priority for Asda is a focus on improving product availability and investing in price, the UK supermarket retailer has said, after revealing a fall in sales in its third-quarter. 

Asda's total sales fell 3.8%, while comparable sales declined 5.8% in the period, excluding petrol. Despite the decline this was an improvement on the retailer's performance on the previous quarter, which saw a sales decline of 7.5%.

Speaking about Asda's performance in parent Walmart's quarterly earnings update, chief financial officer Brett Biggs said: "The key priority remains driving an improved customer experience and building sales momentum by simplifying the offer, improving product availability and making strategic investments in service and price."
 
Sean Clarke, who took over as Asda CEO in July, said putting customers first and foremost is at the heart of its business.  

"We have lowered thousands of prices, improved hundreds of own brand products and invested in more hours for colleagues on the shop floor – so it's encouraging to see more customers shopping with us in stores and online."
 
Patrick O'Brien, analyst at Verdict Retail, believes Asda's low price positioning has been undermined by discounters.
 
He adds: "There are many areas that Asda needs to invest in, and one of the most pressing appears to be its online offer. Sainsbury's is trialling a one-hour delivery with the Chop Chop service, and both Ocado and Tesco offer same-day delivery services, but Asda only allows click & collect same day."