Asda: the latest supermarket to slump
Andy Clarke, who just happens to be the head honcho at Asda, has said today that things have slowed down for the Wal-Mart owned retailer and that, like everyone else, Aldi and Lidl are eating into their customer base. He's vowed to turn things around as the company recorded their first significant slump in sales since the discount supermarket onslaught began.
The supermarket chain's sales had fallen in the third quarter of this year, which is of note because Asda's sales haven't seen a drop in like-for-like sales since 2010.
So what are Asda going to do? Well, Clarke isn't impressed with the other retailers attacking the German supermarkets, and he said: "We won’t be knee-jerked into reacting to short-term tactics. Vouchers can win quarters, but strategies win decades."
"The last quarter has seen a shockwave go through our industry and others are starting to respond to the challenges they face. I expect that we will see another tough quarter and I'm under no illusions that the battle continues to rage."
That means Clarke will oversee price drops, a revamping of big stores and doing something meaningful with their digital side of the business. Clarke wants it delivered "with agility and pace".
"We have more to do on the discounters," said Clarke, "but we continue to close the gap on price and offer 10 times the range across stores and online. A new reality is upon us and, although we were the first to adapt, we need to do everything to remain ahead of our traditional competitors while removing reasons for customers to go to the small discount shops."
"A year ago we took clear action to tackle the changes in our market and implement a five-year strategy to redefine value retailing. That is a long-term strategy that won’t be delivered overnight. But our early, decisive action has seen our business outperform our traditional competitors in a market that is in unprecedented distress."
So there you have it. Asda are feeling the pinch too. Can they outwit their rivals?