Walmart owned grocer Asda recorded its biggest ever trading day over the critical Christmas peak.

Asda pulled in a record 4.8 million shoppers on December 23. It also enjoyed its biggest ever online shopping days over Christmas, exceeding £5m of home shopping sales for the first time on both December 21 and 22.

Asda said 28% of its online sales were ordered through the Smartphone app in December.

Asda, which is not due to release a detailed update until February, said it held its nerve regarding discounting and that it benefitted from “gimmick-free, simple every day low price transparency”. “This was against the backdrop of many other retailers vouchering heavily and starting their sales early,” Asda said.

Asda chief executive and president Andy Clarke said: “This was a very tough December for retailers with price conscious customers leaving it later than ever before to buy presents and do their big Christmas food shop.

“While some retailers hit the panic button early, at Asda we held our nerve and stuck with our simple strategy of no gimmicks, just every day low prices right across the store and online. It meant that customers trusted us to deliver not only on price, but also quality and good honest value. This translated into record footfall, both in store and online.

“We planned for 2013 to be an omni-channel Christmas for food and it was. For the first time ever our grocery home shopping site exceeding £5m of sales in one day on both the 21st and 22nd December; and sales through our mobile apps were up over 200% on last year.

“As we enter 2014 our strategy to redefine value retailing in the UK is underlined by the launch of our biggest ever January value campaign. When customers need our help most to make ends meet we are investing £50m in price cuts in the first quarter of the year as part of a £200m investment this year to lock down prices on weekly essentials.

“While our competitors continue to promise to match prices we are sticking with our simple commitment to beating prices. This is the straightforward, honest and transparent commitment that shoppers can rely on.”

The grocer said it invested in “iconic and essential lines to drive sales”. For example, it experienced a 50-60% uplift on its whole salmon and beef products. At its fashion label George, Christmas Jumpers and Onesies “proved incredibly popular”, Asda said.