Asda returned to sales growth in its second quarter for the first time in three years as investments in price and the store experience convinced shoppers to return.

Like-for-like sales (excluding petrol) were up 1.8% in the three months to 30 June, with Asda claiming one of its most successful Easter trading periods ever with total sales up 16%. Even without Easter, comparative sales would still have been up 1.1%.

Doug McMillon, CEO at Asda’s parent company Walmart, says he is “encouraged” by the return to sales growth and that investments in price and store experience are resulting in shoppers visiting more often and increasing their basket sizes.

“There’s still much more to be done, but we’re clearly headed in the right direction,” he says.

Asda has been the worst performing of the big four supermarkets for a number of quarters. Having built its brand on price and value, it has struggled to cope with the rise of the discounters and their price and quality messaging. A resurgent Tesco and Morrisons have also eaten into its sales.

Last year, Asda parachuted Walmart exec Sean Clarke in as the new CEO and put in place a…