- Christmas is around the corner & supply chain problems make it harder to source goods from abroad.
- Asda has struggled with shortages of some foods this year due to the national driver shortage.
- Asda said customer habits that emerged in the pandemic had remained, with demand for its online delivery service still 80% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
- It added that the lockdown trend of customers treating themselves to premium own-label products had also continued.
Asda has chartered its own cargo ship to ensure that its shelves are well supplied with crucial holiday products this year as reported by BBC.
The move, according to the company, will prevent a shortfall of toys, apparel, and presents over the hectic Christmas season.
Asda cited supply chain issues that have afflicted other shops and made obtaining items from abroad more difficult.
To secure their stock, John Lewis in the UK, Costco and Walmart in the US have all rented ships.
It comes as Asda recorded a 0.7% drop in like-for-like sales in the three months to September 30 compared to the same period the previous year.
“This is the first time Asda has chartered its own ship, and we’ve done so to negotiate industry-wide supply chain problems and ensure there’s enough product on the shelves for customers this Christmas,” an Asda spokeswoman told the BBC.
According to him, the ship has 350 containers on board carrying a variety of items such as holiday decorations, party and celebration supplies, toys, gifts, and clothing.
The boat left China and will arrive in the United Kingdom in early December.
Extra mince pies
Due to a nationwide driver shortage, Asda has had to deal with food shortages this year. However, it stated that it was taking steps to protect its holiday food lines, including storing more turkeys and pigs in blankets in stores than the previous year.
It’s also holding extra goods at depots, such as mince pies, confectionery, Christmas cakes, and puddings, and has hired 15,000 temporary workers for the busy holiday season.
John Lewis announced in September that it was chartering a fleet of extra ships, along with a number of other companies, to ensure that it would have Christmas goods on time.
Sharon White, the company’s boss, blamed a scarcity of shipping containers for making it difficult – and expensive – to acquire a spot on cargo ships travelling from all over the world.
According to Asda, which was recently purchased by the billionaire Issa brothers, the drop in quarterly sales was attributed to exceptionally strong demand in the same period last year, when people were eating more meals at home owing to Covid limits.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s, on the other hand, both recorded stronger sales in the third quarter.
Asda stated that pandemic-related customer behaviours have persisted, with demand for its online delivery service still 80% greater than pre-pandemic levels.
The lockdown trend of customers pampering themselves to luxury own-label products had also been maintained, according to the report.
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