In another day dominated by the value grocery market, Asda has revealed a dismal performance over its past year and B&M has swooped in on Heron Foods.

Like-for-likes and pre-tax profits both fell in a year that Asda admitted was “behind expectations”.

It marked the 11th consecutive negative quarter for the big four grocer, which attributed its poor performance to “intense competition”.

In an interesting twist to the grocery story, rumoured Asda acquisition target B&M surprised the market by itself acquiring value grocer Heron Foods, which operates across the North and the Midlands.

As my colleague Grace Bowden notes, the deal is a “clear statement of intent by B&M about its ambitions in the discount convenience grocery market”.

It’s one of the only retail sectors flourishing at the moment and B&M is not one to miss out on a growth opportunity.

Elsewhere today, Wickes owner Travis Perkins reported that currency headwinds have hit its profits and Apple sales have been boosted by its burgeoning services arm.

Quote of the day

“This idea that product will still be relevant for customers after two, three years and will still hold its value? We’ve gotten rid of that, it clearly doesn’t work in retail and we’re changing it.”

– Poundland trading director Barry Williams on why it’s introduced its first ever summer Sale

Today in numbers


Overall shop price deflation last month as rising prices ground to a halt


First half sales at Travis Perkins’ retail arm (Wickes and Tool Station), a rise of 7.3%

Tomorrow’s agenda

Next is due to report its second quarter numbers tomorrow – it will be interesting to see whether Lord Wolfson has managed to stem its falling sales.

Becky Waller-Davies, reporter