• Asda extends shop-in-shop partnership with Decathlon
  • French sports giant will open shops in four more of Asda’s larger stores
  • Comes after Asda saw “an increase in the number of customers” visiting its Watford store

Asda is extending its partnership with French sports giant Decathlon into four more of its larger stores, Retail Week can reveal.

The grocer will roll out the shop-in-shops in Eastlands in Manchester, Huyton in Liverpool, Tamworth in Staffordshire and Stevenage in Hertfordshire. The first owill open in June.

The four new concessions are expected to be larger and stock a broader range of products than the trial tie-up Watford, which operates mainly as a click-and-collect shop.

Asda struck a deal with Decathlon last March as boss Andy Clarke sought new uses for excess space in a bid to drive footfall and extend dwell time. The supermarket has reported an increase in the number of customers visiting the Watford store since the Decathlon launch.

An Asda spokesman said: “Customers see Decathlon as a destination and they do their shopping at Asda afterwards or vice versa. This is a real opportunity to drive footfall to these large stores.”

Falling sales

Details of the extended trial emerged as Asda prepared to unveil its fourth quarter results, seeking to demonstrate signs of improvement after two disappointing trading periods.

Clarke insisted the grocer hit its “nadir” during a disastrous second quarter, when like-for-like sales slumped 4.7%.

But its fortunes failed to improve significantly in its third quarter, as Asda posted a similar 4.5% drop in like-for-likes during the 13 weeks to September 30.

Asda has since launched Project Renewal, an 18-month initiative aimed at “prioritising investment to better address the fast-changing needs of its customers”.

The Walmart-owned grocer has already hit the pause button on its click-and-collect roll-out and instead pledged to invest in revamping 95 of its larger stores as it bids to adapt to changing shopper habits.

Its big four rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s have faced similar space issues, with its larger supermarkets becoming out of kilter with modern consumer behaviour.

Tesco has trialled shop-in-shops with Sports Direct and Arcadia, while Sainsbury’s has launched Jessops and Argos concessions in some of its larger stores.