Asda today unveiled its fourth quarter and full year financial results for 2014, posting a 1% fall in like-for-like sales for the year to 31st December and a 2.6% fall in the 12 weeks to 4th January, in a quarter when the retail market as a whole slowed significantly.
Positives for 2014 included:
- A £300 million investment in lowering prices in 2014.
- 15 separate fuel price cuts since September 2014.
- Opening 17 new stores.
- Opening 200 new Click and Collect sites, taking the total to 600 by the end of 2014.
President and CEO of Asda, Andy Clarke said: “2014 saw an acceleration in the structural shift in the market and whilst we saw it brewing and put the right plan in place to address it – delivering solid wins for our business and keeping the ship steady in a turbulent market, the pace and scale of change has exceeded all expectations.”
“I’m pleased that we can announce our continued investment in the UK with £600m for new and improved stores in 2015. With such a powerful force like Walmart behind us that fully supports our strategy, we’re in a unique position in a difficult market – a position of great strength.”
Expanding on plans to invest £600 million into creating new stores and improving existing ones as part of its strategy to redefine value retailing in the UK, Clarke outlined that in 2015 Asda would invest in:
- 17 new store openings in 2015 including 3 supermarkets in London.
- 62 stores will undergo a major remodel to reflect changing shopper habits.
- More than 150 new remote Click and Collect sites will be created.
- 36 new petrol stations will also open this year.
Reiterating its strong relationship with parent company Walmart, Clarke highlighted recent investments by the world’s largest retailer in its UK teams.
In what Clarke called “a massive recognition of the contribution, knowledge and experience that sit in our teams in the UK”, Walmart has asked Asda experts to pull together teams that will support growth in sourcing and online grocery shopping across its international markets.
This will see IPL – International Procurement Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Asda – and Asda’s online grocery team working closely across several markets to share expertise and innovation. The aim is that this shared knowledge will lead to more simple, efficient and transparent supply chains ultimately giving customers the freshest products quicker and at the best prices; and to help develop and deliver Walmart’s grocery home shopping plans and follows the launch of one of three ‘mission control’ Network Operation Centres at Asda’s head office in Leeds supporting Walmart’s web operation 24-7 across the globe.