Asda to concentrate on smaller stores

City A.M. Reporter
ASDA said it would expand into smaller format stores, open more non-food shops and slash costs to drive growth in tough markets after posting its lowest quarterly sales growth in about two years.

Chief Executive Andy Bond said the chain, owned by U.S. group Wal-Mart Stores, became too focussed on promotions in 2009, which clouded its low-price message.

“While we allowed ourselves to be too promotional in 2009, be in no doubt that Asda will return with force to our Every Day Low Prices model in 2010,” Bond said in a statement.

"That’s what our customers need this year," he added, saying the prospect of rising taxes and public sector job cuts could make for an “extremely tough” year for shoppers.

Asda, which runs 371 supermarkets and 24 Asda Living stores, said sales, excluding petrol, at stores open at least a year rose 4.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company said