Asda Supermarkets announced that they have chartered their own cargo ship in order to stock shelves with important festive items this year.
The move was intended to prevent shortages of toys, clothes and gifts in the Christmas season.
Asda blamed problems in supply chains that were affecting other retailers and making it difficult for them to source foreign goods.
John Lewis, Costco and Walmart have chartered vessels to safeguard their stocks in the UK.
This comes just as Asda reports that sales of like-for-like products fell 0.7% between the previous year and the period to September 30th.
A spokesperson for Asda told BBC that this is the first time Asda chartered its ship. “We did so in order to help navigate industry supply chain issues and ensure there was enough stock available to customers this Christmas,” she said.
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According to him, the ship contains 350 containers and carries a wide range of products, such as party decorations, celebration and gift supplies, and clothes.
The vessel set sail from China, and it will reach the UK around December 1.
“Extra mince pie”
Asda is experiencing shortages this year, due to the nationwide driver shortage. It said that it is taking steps to preserve its Christmas food lines, such as stocking more turkeys or pigs wrapped in blankets than last year.
Additionally, it has kept extra stock in the depots for Christmas cookies, mince pies and confectionary. 15,000 temporary workers were also recruited to assist during this busy period.
John Lewis stated in September that it would charter additional ships along with other businesses to ensure it had Christmas stock by December 31st.
Boss Sharon White pointed to a lack of shipping containers as the reason for difficulty – and high cost – in securing cargo space aboard ships from all parts of this world.
Asda, recently purchased by the Issa brothers who are a billionaire, stated that its quarterly sales fell because of unusually high demand. It was also due to the fact that people were eating more home-cooked meals as a result Covid curbs.
Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Tesco reported sales increases in the third quarter.
Asda stated that customer behavior had not changed since the pandemic, and its demand for online deliveries is still at 80% above pre-pandemic levels.
Additionally, it stated that customers continue to be tempted to buy premium brand-name products.
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