British supermarket chain Asda has reported a 0.7% decline in like-for-like sales (LFL), excluding sales of fuel, in the second quarter of the year from a year earlier.
The company’s two-year LFL sales, excluding those of fuel, continued to grow by 3.1% against the second quarter of 2019.
From 1 April to 30 June, Asda’s LFL sales for its premium Extra Special range rose by 23% and LFL sales of its clothing and general merchandise increased by 1.4% compared to 2019.
The company’s online sales accounted for 17% of its total food sales during the quarter, compared with 10% in the same period of 2019.
Asda chief finance officer John Fallon said: “As customers responded to the gradual easing of social distancing restrictions, we inevitably saw sales soften compared to the exceptional lockdown-driven demand experienced during the first quarter.
“Nevertheless, the continued resilience [of] our business has been demonstrated in the positive like-for-like sales growth compared with the same period in 2019, as we were able to take advantage of a higher level of in-home consumption, satisfying customers’ needs across both food and non-food.
In a separate development, Asda has announced plans to expand into the convenience market in partnership with EG Group.
The plan follows the successful trial of five Asda On the Move stores at EG Group forecourt locations last October.
From next month, the companies will launch 28 Asda On the Move stores this year and up to 200 sites next year.
Each site will cover up to 3,000ft² and offer up to 2,500 products, including Asda’s premium Extra Special range and a ‘more extensive’ range of fresh produce.
Asda said that it plans to continue opening stores into 2023.
Last month, the company invested in digital brand creation and foodservice business Lean Kitchen Network in an effort to expand its foodservice offering.