Almost half of consumers would be more likely to shop at Asda if it had a loyalty scheme - an initiative the retailer has consistently ruled out despite pressure from rivals that run such programmes.

An exclusive ICM poll for Retail Week revealed that 21% of respondents would be much more likely to shop at Asda if it had a loyalty scheme and 25% a little more likely to shop there.

On Tuesday, Asda reported its first quarterly like-for-like fall in sales since 2006 - down 0.3%. Asda chairman Andy Bond labelled the performance “disappointing” and expects conditions “to remain tough for some time”.

Loyalty schemes have become increasingly important in the battle for grocery market share and have been cited as factors in the success of Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Both ramped up their programmes last year with double Clubcard points and a coupon-at-till Nectar scheme respectively, moves that were widely seen as helping them to outflank Asda in recent months.

Asda, which favours its Everyday Low Prices model, has been losing market share. Last month it launched Asda Price Guarantee, enabling shoppers to check grocery prices against rivals and get their money back if they are cheaper.

An Asda spokeswoman insisted it is confident in its stance, despite the ICM poll findings. She said: “We believe the true driver of loyalty is to give customers unbeatable value for money, great customer service and products that are always available each time they shop.”

New chief executive Andy Clarke said the second half would be challenging for consumers but Asda would continue to “help lower the cost of living for our customers”.