Belfast Telegraph

Asda price promise 'building' customers

By Peter Cripps

Asda has claimed its price guarantee is helping it build a "loyal following" despite a slowdown in its sales growth to 0.7% in recent weeks.

The UK's second biggest supermarket chain said the scheme, which allows customers a refund if their shop is not 10% cheaper than the same would be with its rivals, attracted some 600,000 online checks a week in the three months to June 30, up from about 500,000 in the previous quarter.

Like-for-like sales excluding VAT rose 0.7% in the three months to June 30, although this marked a slowdown on the 2.2% in the previous quarter.

But Asda, which operates 545 stores, said it was continuing to gain market share, and the slowdown is believed to be the result of lower price inflation and a tightening market as shoppers cut back on non-essential items.

Asda's chief executive and president Andy Clarke said: "We have continued to increase our sales and grow ahead of the market through a combination of lowering more prices and driving even harder on product quality."

The retailer has invested £113m in improving the quality of its food ranges in the past two years and this process is set to continue in September with the launch of a new range of 70 Extra Special ready meals.

New dishes will include beef bourguignon and lamb shank with caramelised onion and port sauce.

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