Asda’ second quarter results today delivered the embattled grocer’s first like-for-like sales increase in three years.

The big four grocer posted a 1.8% jump in like-for-like sales bolstered by a 16% jump in sales over the Easter trading period – however, it’s unlikely that boss Sean Clarke is popping the champagne just yet.

As well as the supermarket’s latest results being against a 7.5% plummet the previous year, it also benefitted from a strong Easter performance – without which like-for-likes were up a more subdued 0.7%.

There were reasons to be cheerful in the form of 275,000 new customers entering Asda’s doors during the period, perhaps signalling that the grocer has gotten its mojo back and recaptured the imagination of shoppers.

Clarke has been in the driving seat at Asda for just over a year and has yet to reveal his roadmap for how he will continue to drive momentum at the grocer.

However, there’s no denying that the supermarket giant has a way to go to regain its place as the jewel in the crown of value grocery as discounters Lidl and Aldi continue their dogged assault on the UK.

There were also a clutch of updates from the DIY sector today as Kingfisher posted a sales drop exacerbated by a poor performance at B&Q, and new kid on the block Bunnings made a loss in its maiden full-year results.

Quote of the day

“While there is still more work to be done, the team has made good progress in repositioning the Homebase business. We look forward to bringing the Bunnings offer to more communities across the UK in the run-up to Christmas with the team working hard to have 15 to 20 pilots open or near completion by the end of the year.”

– Bunnings UK & Ireland managing director PJ Davis

Today in numbers


The year-on-year rise of retail sales by volume in July, according to ONS figures


B&Q’s second quarter sales, down 4.7% on a like-for-like basis

Friday’s agenda

There are no updates scheduled for tomorrow – happy trading!

Grace Bowden, reporter