four to have remained outside has finally succumbed. Qualification for membership is based around negative yoy like-for-like sales and Asda has now joined Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons. It reinforces the scale and depth of turmoil the grocery sector is now in.
I continue to believe that among the four majors, Asda is the least uncomfortable in this trading climate. Price and value are core strengths and EDLP is in the company’s DNA. The other three are grappling with an agenda being set by Aldi and Lidl. While this latest statement demonstrates that Asda is being hit too, the fact that it has gained share over the period says everything.
When looking at trading statements right across the retail industry it is important to judge them in the right context. Few businesses will produce numbers that are better than their historical performance. This market is all about peer group relativity, or market share in old money. Gaining ground on your competitors is an investment in future performance and far more meaningful than short term margin gains.