Asda saw its like-for-like sales increase by 2.7% in its third quarter as the supermarket was boosted by a strong performance in its grocery and back-to-school clothing categories. Online sales also grew rapidly in the three month period to September 30th with combined net sales for and climbing by 72% year-on-year.

In a statement, Asda said it expects the strong online growth to continue in its fourth quarter and has increased capacity for its online grocery service to 765,000 weekly slots. It has also extended its delivery partnerships trial with Uber Eats from 50 to 100 stores.

Asda said sales of Christmas trees have risen by 83% year-on-year and festive lights by 57%. There have also been strong uplifts in sales of Christmas puddings and mince pies. Meanwhile, sales of frozen turkey crowns serving three to four people have surged by 230% which Asda attributed to people anticipating restrictions on gatherings this Christmas.

Roger Burnley, Asda chief executive and president, said: “After a rollercoaster year it’s clear our customers are already planning for a very different Christmas. We have already seen a marked shift in buying patterns with customers stocking up their freezers and cupboards with festive essentials earlier than ever before, which suggests they are getting used to expecting the unexpected but preparing to enjoy themselves as much as possible. Whatever happens during the next few weeks, we are totally focused on delivering a great Christmas for our customers during these uncertain times.”