Covid-19: Asda reports huge surge in demand for online deliveries in Q1 results

Asda has seen like-for-like sales increase by 3.5% in the period from 1 January and 31 March 2020, which included a huge surge in demand for home deliveries when the Covid-19 crisis developed from mid-March. In Q1 results published today, the supermarket said its website, Asda.com, received over 3,500 visits per minute during the week starting 18 March.

In response to this rapid growth in demand, Asda has ramped up its online delivery capacity, growing from 450,000 to 725,000 weekly slots.

The retailer also reported it saw a major decline in demand for non-essential items such as fashion, fuel and general merchandise in this period, with people stocking up on groceries and other essential products in the early stages of the crisis. It added that it closed 33 of its Living Stores in March in line with the UK government’s lockdown restrictions.

A strong performance was recorded in Asda’s smaller stores, located in the heart of communities, which suggested customers reduced travel and shopped locally in the first weeks of the pandemic.

With these results only encompassing the early weeks of the crisis, Asda has observed how its customer’s needs are evolving during the ongoing crisis.

Roger Burnley, CEO and president of Asda, commented: “It has become increasingly clear that Covid-19 is set to be part of our lives for months to come and we know that customers have moved on from an initial worry about the virus, to more longer-term concerns about the implications of lockdown on their family, wellbeing and finances. And, as more people return to work, they are juggling the demands of cooking more and having less time to shop for groceries.”

In the update, as part of efforts to improve store safety, Asda said it is trialling a ‘virtual queuing’ system initiative at its Middleton store near Leeds; this enables customers to log in remotely and wait in their car until it is their turn to enter.

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