Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said steering clear of Black Friday was one of the best decisions the grocer has made all year.

Clarke said Asda will use the money saved to bring down prices in the critical Christmas period and pile more pressure on rivals.

“It was one of the best decisions we’ve made this year,” Clarke told the Mail on Sunday. “There is still a lot of stock around at other retailers – TVs, DVD players, Xboxes and PlayStations.

“That suggests a lot of demand shifted online and I wouldn’t like to be holding on to that unsold, marked-down stock at this point.

“What we saved we’re now putting into deals right through to Christmas.”

Retail Week exclusively revealed last month the Walmart-owned chain was withdrawing from being involved in Black Friday.

Clarke said the decision to steer clear of the event – despite the grocer being one of the driving forces in bringing the event to the UK – was made as part of a wider strategy to prioritise profits over sales in an increasingly price competitive grocery market.

“We’re making some very deliberate choices about the stability of our commercial position and that’s allowing us to make choices for the long term,” he said.

Taking a short term view by “buying sales and market share” to compete with the rising popularity of Aldi and Lidl is unsustainable, Clarke said.

Asda was bruised last year when images of skirmishes in store on Black Friday hit the headlines and came to typify the mania of the discounting bonanza.