Asda customers prepare for ‘very different Christmas’ amid pandemic

Asda said it is gearing up for a “very different Christmas”, with customers starting their preparations earlier than normal and buying smaller turkeys.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 4:45 pm
Asda customers are starting their preparations earlier than normal amid the pandemic

The Leeds-based grocer said sales of frozen turkey crowns, which typically serve three or four people, have surged 230 per cent year-on-year as it revealed a sales jump in its latest quarter. Many people are preparing for a lockdown Christmas with just their immediate family.

The firm said recent trading was boosted by positive early sales of Christmas items. Sales of Christmas trees have risen by 83 per cent year-on-year, while festive lights are up 57 per cent, Christmas puddings are up 71 per cent and mince pies are up 44 per cent.

Roger Burnley, Asda’s chief executive officer and president, said: “After a rollercoaster year it’s clear our customers are already planning for a very different Christmas.

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“We have already seen a marked shift in buying patterns with customers stocking up their freezers and cupboards with festive essentials earlier than ever before, which suggests they are getting used to expecting the unexpected, but preparing to enjoy themselves as much as possible.

“Whatever happens during the next few weeks, we are totally focused on delivering a great Christmas for our customers during these uncertain times.”

It comes after a bumper year for supermarket chains, which have seen strong sales after remaining open throughout lockdown restrictions due to their essential status.

Asda said sales over the three months to September 30 rose 2.7 per cent, buoyed by strong online growth during the pandemic.

It comes a month after the supermarket chain agreed to be taken over by petrol forecourt firm EG Group and private equity firm TDR Capital in a £6.8bn deal. The move is expected to complete next year.

The grocery chain said the increase in total sales over the three months to September 30 was driven by strong sales in its core grocery business, back-to-school clothing and online shopping. Sales through Asda.com and George.com increased 72 per cent.