Asda Wins Annual Christmas Sales Race Between UK Retailers

Post by Sharat | January 12, 2012 | Shopping News | Comment

This Christmas, Asda Groceries won the annual race between the UK supermarket chains after the retailer posted a10.7 per cent increase in sales for the four weeks ending December 25th. Asda was helped in large part by its acquisition of Netto UK 18 months ago, according to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

According to Kantar, rival Tesco lagged its contemporaries during the build up to Christmas as all of them collectively fought back against the UK’s largest retailers price cutting campaign. In contrast to Asda, Tesco registered a 3.8 per cent increase in sales during the same four week period.

According to Tesco the cut in prices impacted the amount of cash which passed through the retail giant’s tills. Kantar begged to differ, arguing that an aggressive response by rivals undermined Tesco’s market share, which fell from 30.5 per cent last year, to 30.1per cent this year.

Asda increased its market share to 17.2 per cent this year, from 16.8 per cent in the previous year.

In its report Kantar said its research suggests that consumers were buying fewer items, and that aggressive price competition during the quarter ending Christmas day was under the headline inflation rate of 5.9 per cent.

The data came amidst a backdrop of strong demand for season items such as mince pies, turkeys and wine, which lifted like for like sales at retail outlets owned by the Co-operative Group, the fifth largest retailer in the United Kingdom, which posted a 3.1 per cent increase in sales during the four weeks leading up to Christmas day.

The Co-operative Group chief executive Peter Marks, said he was encouraged by the good performance. The retailer expanded its presence in Scotland through the acquisition of convenience store chain David Sands for an undisclosed amount.

The company plans to increase the number of stores in the UK by 300 over the next three years from its current level of 2,800.

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

Asda Rolls Out New iPhone App

Post by Sharat | December 15, 2011 | Groceries | Comment

UK supermarket chain has launched its first iPhone app designed to enable shoppers to make purchases from the retailer both online, and check prices using their smartphones.

The iPhone app is a collaboration between Asda and its US parent Walmart, and lets shoppers make purchases from the full range of ASDA Groceries on offer on the retailers website, as well as make amendments to existing orders or delivery slots right up until 10PM the day prior to delivery.

The app also includes a nifty integrated barcode scanner which lets shoppers add new products to their baskets simply scanning the product’s bar code.

The app also includes an Asda Price guarantee feature, which lets shoppers compare the prices of roughly 14,000 like for like own label or branded grocery products available at Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

The app is designed as a simple intuitive three step process for shoppers to check their basket was cheapest at Asda, and if you find that you could have purchased a product for a cheaper price at a rival store, you will receive the difference plus an additional penny.

The app also includes a store locator, offering both maps and directions, enabling shoppers to quickly find the nearest Asda outlet, as well as their opening times, and key services.

Kate Cuthbertson, Asda’s head of mobile strategy, said:More than 60 per cent of customers who access the mobile website do so using iPhones, so we’ve created an app that allows them to shop – and price check – on the move. Our mobile strategy is moving at pace with more new developments planned into the New Year.

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

Asda Launches Major Price Cutting Initiative

Post by Sharat | November 13, 2011 | Food, Groceries | Comment

UK retailer Asda has shot back the price cutting campaigns of rivals, by announcing its own major price cutting initiative.Asda has pledged to cut the prices across 3000 items including essentials such as toilet paper, cereal, laundry detergent and bread.

Additionally the retailer says that shoppers who spend £40 at a retail outlet will receive a voucher worth £5 as a “thank you” which can be redeemed the next time the customer spends £40 either in store or online.

The new campaign will run side by side along its current 10 per cent Price Guarantee scheme, and is direct response to the £500million ‘Big Price Drop’ campaign from Tesco which initially sparked the latest price war between the two biggest retailers in the UK.

Last month Sainsbury’s launched its promotion which it calls Brand Match, and promises to refund any customer who finds cheaper items at rivals Asda and Tesco, whilst Waitrose also launched its on campaign designed to highlight awareness amongst shoppers of the greater value it offers.

For its part, Asda denies that there is a price war under way.

A spokesman said: “Other stores don’t want a price war, they only want a skirmish over price perception. There is no price war because no other stores showed up to win.”

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

Asda To Roll Out Indian Takeaway Concessions In Store

Post by Sharat | October 15, 2011 | Food | Comment

UK supermarket giant ASDA food deliveries, is set to roll out curry counters at a few of its retail outlets, after successfully trailing a takeaway scheme.

In April the UK’s second largest supermarket chain set up an in store curry counter at a store in Birmingham, which was operated by a restaurant based in Bradford which calls itself Zouk.

The concession ultimately proved to be extremely popular with customers of the store, prompting Asda to introduce the concession at three other retail outlets across the Midlands, with dozens more likely to be launched including concessions at Asda’s London stores.

Asda ethnic buyer, Noor Ali, said: “Launching a series of restaurant-managed curry counters into our stores and giving local businesses the opportunity to expand, is a natural step for us.”

“Our customers love the authenticity and quality of the range at Zouk and with more and more families on a budget, but not wanting to sacrifice eating out, launching this new concept is a winner.”

The concession run by Zouk offers a wide variety of choice to Asda shoppers, with such authentic Indian dishes from Punjabi llipops to Nihari Lamb and Goan Fish Curry. Prices start from as low as 40p for a starter to £3.50 for mains.

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

Asda Says 50% Increase In Applications To Apprenticeship Program

Post by Sharat | September 13, 2011 | Shopping News | Comment

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 .”

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

UK Retailers Have 25000 Job Openings

Post by Sharat | August 12, 2011 | Food, Shopping News | Comment

According to the daily Mirror, there are over 25,000 jobs that are available in the billion Pound UK retail industry.

According to the statistic quoted by the Daily Mail, the 25,000 plus jobs available are a combination of both full and part time jobs, and are available at all of the major UK grocery retailers including ASDA Groceries Online. Thousands of additional jobs are available through apprenticeships and training programs for school leavers.

ASDA grocery has over 700 jobs available at its stores, with the retailer interested in hiring everyone from sales assistants to cashiers and pharmacists and the company says it will commit to making 6000 apprentice opportunities available by the end of the year, a figure it says it will increase to 25,000 by the beginning of 2013.

Anne Seaman of Skillsmart Retail, said: “When hiring new staff, supermarkets look at a candidate’s attitude, willingness to work hard and commercial awareness as much as their qualifications – meaning you can get your foot in the door and on to the career ladder.”

“They are very keen to train and develop their staff. It’s an extremely competitive marketplace and supermarkets know, more than ever, that price alone isn’t enough: great customer service and knowledge of the products on sale are essential.”

She added: “Nearly all the major supermarkets now offer retail apprenticeships and other qualifications, giving plenty of chances to get your skills nationally recognized at work.”

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

Asda Says UK Consumer In Recession

Post by Sharat | July 27, 2011 | Food, Shopping News | Comment

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.”

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

Asda Launches Premium Meat Range

Post by Sharat | July 23, 2011 | Groceries, Shopping News | Comment

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.”

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

The Mystery Of The Great Asda Trolley Robbery

Post by Sharat | July 21, 2011 | Shopping News, Shopping Stories | Comment

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.”

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

Supermarket Shoppers Increasingly Opting For Healthier Brown Bread

Post by Sharat | July 15, 2011 | Food, Groceries | Comment

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.

Please Note - All Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting

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