Speaking as Tesco revealed that plans to develop a standalone non-food store were in the “embryonic” stages, Asda said customer numbers at the first Living store in Walsall increased from an average of 18,000 to 24,000 over the pre-Christmas week.
George in particular overtraded, accounting for 45% of sales over the period. However, entertainment and
jewellery ranges were also popular, said a spokeswoman. All six pilot standalone George stores had good Christmas sales, with Liverpool performing especially well, she added.
Separately, Asda announced the launch of a new Smartprice range of fruit, veg and dried nuts to help shoppers on a budget reach the five-a-day target.
Asda has introduced 12 products into the rebranded range with more to follow. It includes a kilo of bananas for 65p and four oranges for 58p.
Asda trading and marketing director Angela Spindler said: “Our Smartprice produce range will enable millions of customers on a tight budget to buy top-quality fruit and veg at the lowest-possible prices.”
Earlier this month Asda launched a £7m health promotion, including TV and press ads, a quarterly health magazine and free health checks by nurses in all of its stores (The Grocer Jan 8, p4).