Asda to increase online delivery capacity as eCommerce sales soar

UK grocer Asda has unveiled some major eCommerce expansion plans, following significant online retail sales growth during the pandemic.

Online grocery sales for its second quarter, which began a week after the UK was put into national lockdown, doubled year-on-year, while click & collect orders quadrupled. Analysis of the transactional data shows many of the uptick in transactions came from new Asda shoppers, the supermarket said.

Overall like-for-like sales in the period, covering 1 April and 30 June, increased by 3.8% year-on-year, excluding fuel.

In response to the online growth, Asda has already increased its online capacity by 65% compared to March, with 700,000 weekly slots available for customers. The retailer plans to increase its online capacity to 740,000 slots per week by the end of the year – and is looking at providing up to one million slots per week in 2021.

The Walmart-owned chain is also expanding its delivery partnership trial with Uber Eats to 25 more stores over the next eight weeks, and it has reinstated its same-day and express click & collect service at more than 300 stores after pausing it at the height of the pandemic to reduce pressure on stores.

Asda CEO & president, Roger Burnley, commented: “The pandemic has created a structural shift in customer behaviours towards grocery shopping.

“We have accelerated our online capacity expansion to meet levels we had anticipated reaching in eight years within a matter of weeks and we will continue to expand this offer.”

Asda also recently launched a new fleet of home delivery vans, aimed at cutting the retailer’s carbon footprint. It said the 25 vehicles come with a 10% improvement in miles per gallon and with an increased capacity inside.

The new vans will be located in areas where drivers have increased mileage to reach customers in remote areas such as parts of the east coast of England.