Leeds-based Asda said it has chartered its own cargo ship “to protect the availability of key festive products including festive decorations, toys, clothing and gifts.”
Asda also updated markets on its third quarter trading performance and outlined the proactive steps it has taken to ensure customers can buy their festive products this Christmas.
“These 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, confectionary, Christmas cakes and puddings,” said Asda.
“In addition, the supermarket chartered its own cargo ship to protect the availability of key festive products including festive decorations, toys, clothing and gifts.”
Asda has also recruited 15,000 temporary workers to serve customers during the busy Christmas period and increased the capacity of its grocery home delivery service to 1 million slots in the final week before Christmas — hitting a goal set in Q3 2020 and up from 765,000 slots in Q4 last year.
Online sales at Asda remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, up by 80% on the same period two-years ago.
Asda’s latest trading quarter, which covered the period from July 1 to September 30, 2021, saw like-for-like sales excluding fuel decline by 0.7%.
This is compared with the same period last year, during which time sales were boosted by the ongoing social distancing restrictions, which resulted in more meals being consumed at home.
“Asda’s like-for-like sales on a two-year basis remain resilient with growth of 2.0% and food sales were up by 3.4% compared with Q3 2019,” said Asda.
“The lockdown trend of customers treating themselves to premium own-label products continued and Asda has added more than 200 new products to its ‘Extra Special’ range this year in response.
“This investment in quality has helped make Extra Special the fastest-growing premium range of the Big Four supermarkets and discounters, growing ahead of the total market by 8%, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
“Demand for online groceries softened slightly during the quarter, with sales down by 2.7% on 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.”