Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Asda Sales Fall amid 'Tough Times'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Asda Sales Fall amid 'Tough Times'

Article excerpt

SUPERMARKET Asda has posted its first sales fall in four years and warned that conditions would "remain tough for some time".

The UK's second biggest grocer s aw like-for-like sales fall 0.3% in the first quarter of the year - dropping for the first time since 2006 - in a performance branded "disappointing" by Asda chairman Andy Bond.

Supermarkets have seen slowing sales growth as food inflation eases and rivals battle fiercely for hard-pressed shoppers, but Asda is the first of the "big four" chains to see comparative sales slip into the red.

Mr Bond said: "The market has slowed down significantly since the turn of the year, and I expect conditions to remain tough for some time."

Mr Bond has been replaced as chief executive by Andy Clarke, who first joined Asda in 1992 and has been its chief operating officer since 2007.

Despite its disappointing recent performance, Asda last month set out ambitions to become the clear market number two in food and the leader in non-food sales in the next five years - opening 100 supermarkets and 150 Asda Living general merchandise stores. …

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