Asda lifts market shareas sales pick up

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The Independent Online

Asda, the British arm of the US retail giant Wal-Mart, said sales growth accelerated in its first quarter and it won market share as a focus on low prices and a revamped own-brand range appealed to cash-strapped shoppers.

Britain's second-biggest supermarket chain behind Tesco said yesterday that same-store sales, excluding fuel and VAT, rose 2.2 per cent in the 12 weeks to the end of March.

That followed a rise of 1 per cent in the previous 14 weeks, which Asda reported as its fourth quarter.

Recent industry data has shown Asda growing sales faster than its main UK rivals and achieving a record market share of just under18 per cent.

Tesco, meanwhile, has been losing market share to low-cost rivals and has responded with promises of extra staff, revamped stores and more special offers.