Supermarket giant Asda has reported a 0.7% drop in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, in its second quarter, reflecting what it called the exceptional sales levels seen during lockdown last year.
Asda said that like-for-like sales rose by 3.1% compared to pre-pandemic sales figures from two years ago.
The group also announced plans to open more than 200 Asda on the Move sites across the EG petrol station network, after trialling five earlier this year.
Both Asda and EG are owned by the billionaire Issa brothers. The company said its move into convenience would substantially broaden the number of new and existing customers who can access the supermarket’s products.
Each site will be up to 3,000 square foot in size and stock up to 2,500 products, while featuring kiosks from brands such as Subway and Greggs.
The stores will open across EG Group’s existing forecourt estate in the UK and are expected to be situated on some new sites as well.
The company told Sky News that the process to appoint chief executive Roger Burnley’s successor was ongoing, and it looked forward to “making an announcement in due course.”
Sky News reported in March that Mr Burnley was preparing to step down weeks after it completed a £6.8bn takeover deal, paving the way for new leadership to be installed at Britain’s third-biggest grocer.
The sale of Asda by the American retailing behemoth Walmart was announced last autumn.
Its new owners are TDR Capital, the London-based private equity firm, and Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the two brothers who have turned EG Group into one of the world’s largest petrol forecourt and convenience store operators.
Asda is now one of the UK’s biggest private sector employers, with more than 146,000 employees.
It trades from more than 600 supermarkets, standalone petrol stations, and Asda Living homewares stores.