Whoops! Asda is in the doldrums
There’ll be no joyful patting of back pockets at Asda today, after they announced a disappointing 0.1% fall in sales in the 13 weeks to the 3rd of January. While 0.1% doesn’t exactly seem like a catastrophic figure, it marks the first fall in sales for the supermarket since 2010.
CEO Andy Clarke looked dolefully up from his Asda ham and pineapple pizza and made the usual comments about it being tough year, yadda yadda yadda.
‘It will come as no surprise that 2013 was a tough year for UK retailers and there’s little doubt that the UK retail market is undergoing significant and permanent structural change. Though the economy is showing signs of recovery, it is still susceptible to shocks and the benefit is not yet being felt right across the country.’
(Which, translated from Retail Speak, means ‘Aldi are better than us.’)
Having been blasted for artificially raising prices during the Christmas period so that they could offer Aldi/Lidl busting low prices in January, Asda don’t seem to be having much luck at the moment.
But it’s not stopping them from investing £200m in lowering more prices and spending £750m on a UK wide expansion programme.
But could it all be ill fated? Will the British public desert the Walmart-owned monster in favour of copycat Not Nobs biscuits and scuba diving equipment from our favourite German supermarket?