Asda’s sales have been on the slide because the quality of food is not good enough – according to the supermarket’s chief executive, Andy Clarke.

“Food quality is something Asda hadn’t been as focused on in the past as it should have been,” Clarke (pictured) told the Daily Mail.

“Last year at Christmas we talked about our premium range but hadn’t done enough work on the product to allow us the credibility to shout about it.”

Clarke also admitted that the supermarket had been too reliant on promotions to bring in shoppers.

“There were far too many two-for-one promotions where the combined price was good but prices for individual products were just not low enough,” he said.

“We are now focused on everyday low pricing on staples like milk, bread, eggs and sugar.”

The admission comes after Asda yesterday unveiled a fall in like-for-like sales of 0.4% for the past three months. Overall sales grew “in the low single digits”, the retailer said.

Clarke’s assessment comes after Andy Bond, Clarke’s predecessor as chief executive and now the chain’s first-ever chairman, conceded earlier this year that the supermarket’s focus on price had been too narrow.

Read more
Asda like-for-likes down 0.4% (17 August 2010)
Retail Prices: What about EDLP? Asda ups number of promos by 17% (10 July 2010)
The penny drops: an interview with Asda's Rick Bendel (8 May 2010)
It’s the end of an era at Asda - but the beginning of what? (analysis; 17 April 2010)