ASDA pledged yesterday to invest £1bn in lowering prices of some of its products over the next five years and expand its UK presence, as the supermarket reported a slowdown in third quarter sales.
The Walmart-owned group, which is vying with Sainsbury’s to be the UK’s second largest supermarket, said the move will help it distance itself from the “big three” and narrow the price gap with discounters Aldi and Lidl.
As part of its new strategic push, it has also set out plans to spend £250m on “quality, style and design” over the five years and to expand in the south east to increase physical access to the chain from 53 to 70 per cent by 2018.
This will include opening 1,000 Click and Collect locations and developing more stores. It is also targeting online sales of £3bn by 2018.
The plans were announced as Asda posted a 0.3 per cent rise in third quarter like-for-like sales compared with a second quarter rise of 0.7 per cent.
Clarke said: “We’ve continued to invest in lowering prices which has held them down for our customers while driving volume growth. This means we enter the crucial fourth quarter in a solid position.”