George puts Asda ahead of Debenhams in fashion

Asda has displaced department store group Debenhams in the clothing sales league.

On the back of the success of its George fashion label, Asda notched up a 3.1 per cent market share in the 12 weeks to April 4, according to TNS data. Debenhams was just behind with 3 per cent.

Both retailers are dwarfed by Marks & Spencer and Next, with a 10 per cent and 4.9 per cent share respectively, but Asda's apparently inexorable rise indicates that shoppers are flocking to buy George.

Asda trading director for general merchandise Andy Bond confirmed that Asda had scooped third place, but emphasized the performance was only over 12 weeks.

'Different retailers trade well at different times,' he said.

George generates sales of about£1 billion a year, and Asda's growing fashion authority has encouraged brands to seek a presence at its stores.

Bond said that George has recently struck a deal with Disney, thought to be a global first, which enables the retailer to design and sell Disney-branded clothing.

Meanwhile, a lingerie collection designed by Ultimo bra creator Michelle Mone, Michelle for George, made its debut at selected Asda and George standalone shops on Monday. Lingerie accounts for about 30 per cent of Asda's total womenswear business. Asda also carries an Admiral range of retro-inspired sports and leisurewear.

M+M Planet Retail global retail research manager Bryan Roberts said: 'I can see no reason why George will not continue its relentless rise. The value message is overwhelming, and they are continually innovating within the brand.'