UK supermarket chain Asda Grocery says it has received as many as 4,000 applications from people wishing to join its apprenticeship scheme during the past three months, representing a gain of 50 per cent from the same time period in the previous year.
According to the UK’s second largest supermarket chain, school leavers between the ages of 16 and 18 represent some 12.5 per cent of all applications, with roughly 500 having signed up to participate in the Asda skills academy, since it was first launched in June.
The scheme was devised in collaboration with the vocational educational organsiaition, and is part of Asda’s commitment to provide relevant recognized qualifications to young workers who are employed at the retailer’s stores.
Participating apprentice’s also have the option to sign up for GCSE and A-Level equivalents in various aspects of retailing, such as fresh food, merchandising and customer service.
Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said: “Youth unemployment is on the rise and traditional education routes are becoming less and less affordable for many young people.”
“Young people shouldn’t be forced to choose between their desire to learn and need to earn – the Asda Skills Academy gives them the opportunity to do both. And as the UK retail sector continues to grow and develop, there are endless opportunities to build a career .”
UK retailer ASDA Grocery Online says consumers in Britain are in recessions, and have less money to spend, fear losing their jobs and worry about interest rate hikes. Judith McKenna chief financial officer of Asda speaking at a conference on retail organized by Reuters said the outlook for retail seems tough, as incomes are squeezed and they fear the future.
“Do I expect it to improve anytime soon? – no I don’t,” she said.
Asda runs an income tracker to model its customer behavior, and according to Ms McKenna, British shoppers has £14 less to spend compared to a year earlier.
“It is a really biting effect on how people are shopping and spending….particularly in the area of discretionary spending.”
A couple of years ago, when the UK economy was mired in recession, consumers were equally as worried but did not actually feel a squeeze on their spend. This time around, austerity measures have kicked in, and inflation is beginning to bite.
McKenna said the difference now was that consumers physically had less money.
“I do think the consumer is in recession,” she said. “How long for is difficult to call.”
Tight budgets as a result of higher taxes and rising prices have made consumers much more careful about how they spend their cash.
“People have changed their shopping habits as well … they have started to ration their behaviour about how they spend and what they spend it on … there is a new norm developing,” McKenna said.
In this tough climate, food retailers are seeing consumers switch to their lower-priced own-label ranges from brand names.
McKenna said there was a marked shift into own- or private-label by shoppers. She said ASDA’s own-label range “Chosen by You” was the fastest-growing private label in the market.
“We ask 2,000 people a week how are you feeling … one in 20 people do not believe they will get a pay increase this year …. it was one in 10 last year.”
ASDA Grocery Online the UK’s second largest grocery retailer has expanded its range of fresh meats, launching a new line of premium quality cuts of meat.
Asda has dubbed the range “The Butchers Selection” which includes a selection of steaks that have matured for 15 days in a bid to make the meat extra tender. The range is already available at most stores throughout the country, with steaks on special offer and rump steaks marked down to £7 from an original price of £11.97.
Earlier in the month Asda launched a marketing campaign to promote the launch of the range on television, and features Asda’s head of meat quality Jim Viggars, explaining to consumers how the selection is specially prepared.
Viggars said: “Our customers told us that steak is one of their favourite meals when eating out, so the Asda meat team and I have worked hard to get the cuts to restaurant quality, without the hefty price tag.”
UK supermarket chain ASDA Grocery Online regularly advertises the virtues of its competitive pricing, with adverts regularly featuring a mix of celebrities, employees and ordinary customers, all of whom pat their pockets, smile and say
“That’s Asda price!”
Someone really took that advice to heart and in an effort to save some cash decided to steal around 800 trolleys over the course of a couple of weeks and at £80 a pop, the £64,000 the key question is who on earth would go about stealing supermarket trolleys.
The trolleys were stolen from Asda’s Eastgate shopping centre branch in Essex over a 12 day period, all were fitted with refundable coin deposit slots that encourages shoppers to return the trolley to its correct collection point. That was ignored and the robbers simply cut through chains holding all the trolleys together, and with no CCTV cameras and an unmonitored car park bay, the theft remains a mystery.
So now we know the trolleys have been stolen, this then begs the question, what on earth are the thieves planning to do with this inconvenient haul batman?
Holy stainless steel Robin. According to Simon Nickson who runs a company that supplies this type of equipment to other retailers, the haul is certainly now worth the pain.
“You’re not going to get a vast amount of money for scrap – probably only about £5 to £7 a trolley – which is hardly worth stealing,” he says. “With that sort of quantity, I’m just wondering whether they’re buying to sell to third-world countries, second-hand. They may have a customer in Asia or Europe who might give them 25 quid each for them.”
Customers of supermarket chains like ASDA Grocery Online are increasingly substituting white bread for the healthier option of brown bread according to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel.
According to the data, sales of loaves of white bread declined by 1 per cent last years, whilst sales of brown bread climbed 6 per cent, and seeded bread and even more impressive 9 per cent.
Tesco the UK’s largest retailer said it was the first time sales of white bread, a staple in the UK had ever declined, and the fall was attributed to a shift in consumer preferences towards more healthier options.
Alex Sillars, Tesco’s bread buyer, said: “The recent sales figures are a significant move and reveal that more shoppers are looking for healthier options when buying bread.
“There is more choice now than ever before and the emergence recently of half brown and half white bread looks like it has been instrumental in encouraging people to make the switch, albeit gradually.
“Not only is there more choice but the quality of wholemeal bread has greatly improved over the last 10 years.”
She added: “In recent years we have increased our range of brown and seeded bread as well as launching other healthier alternatives and while sales of white are still roughly double to that of wholemeal it appears that a change has now begun.”
Whilst it is clear that brown bread is indeed gaining in popularity, the data suggests that it is far from dominant, accounting for roughly 27 per cent of the 12 million loaves of bread sold in the UK as opposed to the 66 per cent of 7.9 million loaves of white bread sold each day in Britain.
UK supermarket chain Asda will reward employees of its UK stores and depots with a £26.9 million bonus payout this week.
Asda says employees who have been with the company for at least six months as of Friday February 25th will get a share of the bonus pool.
Full time Asda employees who work at any of the retailers 368 stores and 19 distribution centres will each be eligible to pick up a £350 bonus, with employees who work at stores or depots that beat annual performance targets elgible for a “super bonus of approximately £437.
Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said: “There is no doubt in my mind that the staff working in our stores and depots are the heroes of our business. They have worked incredibly hard this year to deliver the best for our customers – taking everything from the difficult economic climate to the great British weather in their stride.”
“Our bonus payout is directly linked to our stores’ performance, so to be able to offer a bonus to our colleagues during challenging times, is testament to the fact we are giving consumers what they want – quality, value and service every day.”
A new survey which was commissioned by supermarket chain Asda has revealed that Apple Crumble is Britain’s favourite dessert, and that traditional British puddings have returned to the top popularity sport after years of foreign desserts topping the rankings.
According to the poll results, 68 per cent of UK grocery shoppers rated apple crumble as their favourite dessert. The survey results also suggests that other British desserts such as bread and butter pudding, spotted dick and sticky toffee pudding have soared in popularity largely at the expense of foreign alternatives such as the crème brulee.
Asda spokeswoman Vickie North said: “The humble apple crumble has found its way back on to the British pudding agenda once again after years of competition from more indulgent puds.”
Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson said: “Puddings and desserts are one thing that we do well in Britain, and we do it better than a lot of other countries whose desserts have far too much sugar and gelatine in.”
He added that apple crumble was not only tasty, but also easy to prepare and versatile.
The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered UK retailing giant Asda to change its price guarantee adverts following complaints from rival supermarket chains who claim it is “misleading”
Asda’s price guarantee is an advertisement which promises to refund customers any difference in price should they find their groceries cheaper at other supermarket chains.
Tesco and Morrisons complains to the ASA that the campaign was misleading, since it suggests that Asda was in general, cheaper than its rivals.
Asda mounted a strong defence to the charge, and has insisted that the methodology it uses to compare its prices with those of other retailers was both robust and accurate, and also supported by Clearcast, which approves ads before they go on TV.
Despite the approval, the ASA either fully or partially upheld four of the nine complaints against Asda, and ruled that the retailer failed to make clear that its price guarantee was not applicable to non grocery items which were display prominently in its advertising.
A statement from the advertising watchdog said: “We told Asda to ensure their ads did not suggest their price guarantee applied to all items, including non-grocery items and items that were specifically excluded, or that their savings claims referred to shopping generally rather than specific items, if that was not the case.”
Asda said it was satisfied with the outcome and remains committed to the Asda Price Guarantee and its recently launched 10 per cent cheaper price promise.
The results of a new study suggest that certain frozen pizzas sold at supermarket chains are in fact healthier than their freshly made counterparts.
The study was undertaken by consumer group Which? and suggests that consumers would actually be better off buying frozen deep pan or stuffed crust pizzas instead of the supposedly healthier fresh or thin based pizza.
The study analysed 162 cheese, tomato and pepperoni pizzas available at major supermarkets such as Asda and at takeaway chains. According to the results of the study, frozen pizzas tended to be lower in fat and saturates compared to freshly made pizzas.
Thin crust pizzas were just as likely to be higher in fat and saturates as deep pan and stuffed crust pizzas, while some deep pan and thin crust pizzas had more fat, saturates and salt than stuffed crust versions.
The most unhealthiest pizzas included Tesco’s fresh Full on Flavour Cheese Feast Deep Crust Pizza, which had 14g of saturated fat per 100g. The pizza with the lowest levels of fat, saturates and salt were Asda’s frozen Takeaway Style Margherita.
Which? says the results of the study reinforce the requirement of the food industry in Britain to reduce salt levels and saturated fat and calories where possible.
UK supermarket chain Asda has said it is planning on building a new superstore just outside of Edinburgh, which the retailer says will help boost employment in the city.
Asda says the store will cover 45,000 square feet and will be situated on the former Dansco Dairy site in Straiton. The new store will also include a petrol station, car park and a cafe.
As many as 400 more full and part time jobs will be created by the new store, which will open its doors in approximately nine months.
Sarah Mills, Asda’s communications manager for Scotland said “Asda is delighted to be developing a new store at Straiton,”
“This is a great location offering local residents and shoppers coming to the area greater choice and value.”
“New employment opportunities will be created both in store and during the construction period. We are on site and aim to open the store in approximately nine months.”