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Asda expects Christmas growth but cautions over 'two-speed recovery'

Asda boss Andy Clarke expects to deliver growth over Christmas despite tough conditions, but has cautioned that a two-speed recovery could hamper the revival.

According to Retail Week, Clarke made the comments today as he revealed a 05% like-for-like increase in Asda’s second quarter.

He said that over the critical Christmas peak he was “expecting to get growth, but it will be very challenging”. “Some people will win more than others,” he said.

He said sections of the country, including Northern Ireland and parts of the north, are suffering from a slower economic recovery than London and the South East.

Clarke said: “The forward view of the economy is still very challenging. The level of disposable income is still hugely varied. We’re very mindful of that.”

Clarke said Asda’s clear Everyday Low Prices (EDLP) policy propelled growth over the quarter, at a time when its big four rivals are reporting sales declines.

Clarke said: “We’re pleased with the market-share growth in the quarter.

“We’re differentiating now from the big four grocers. It’s delivering volume growth. Moving away from gimmicks is something we are clear about. We’re playing the long game. Our strategy is working.”

He said Asda was “reinventing” its store estate, with plans to trial new elements in two superstores in the fourth quarter. He said the initiatives will ensure its proposition is “fit for the future”.

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