Asda Wins Annual Christmas Sales Race Between UK Retailers

January 12, 2012 · Filed Under 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 Says 50% Increase In Applications To Apprenticeship Program

September 13, 2011 · Filed Under 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

August 12, 2011 · Filed Under 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

July 27, 2011 · Filed Under 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

July 23, 2011 · Filed Under 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

July 21, 2011 · Filed Under 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

Asda Reverts Back To Imperial Measurement System In Strawberry Trial

July 1, 2011 · Filed Under Asda Groceries, Food, Shopping News · Comment 

Asda has begun to offer its customers punnets of strawberries by the pound and ounce, the first such offering by a supermarket in over 16 years.

The retailer has under trial a 1lb punnet of strawberries offer, which displays both the metric and imperial measurement on the package, as it seeks to respond to growing demand by customers who also want to know the imperial measurement.

According to research from ASDA Grocery Online, 70 per cent of shoppers found the metric system confusing, and preferred product information to be labelled in pounds.

Research by the retailer found that 70 per cent of its shoppers were confused by the metric system and would prefer products to be labelled in pounds.

strawberry buyer Andy Jackson said: “Customers had been badgering us to sell our fruit in pounds and ounces.”

“No one wants to order a litre of beer in the pub, so why do we have to buy 453.39g of strawberries?”

If the strawberry trial proves to be successful, then  says it will consider the roll out of imperial measurements on other fruit and vegetables.

By law, the fruit and vegetable packaging must display metric measurements, however imperial measurements can also be included as “supplementary indication” following a change to EU legislation on weights and measures in 2007.

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

Asda Intensifies Fuel Price War

June 30, 2011 · Filed Under Petrol, Shopping News · Comment 

Major supermarket chains in the UK have intensified the fuel price war, raising the stakes even further and in the process offering motorists a little comfort as oil prices climb.

Last week all four major supermarket chains including ASDA Grocery Online slashed their petrol prices by as much as 3 pence a litre, after the International Energy Agency opened up its reserves resulting in global energy prices falling.

This week,  intensified its efforts to attract motorists by knocking a further 2 pence of the cost of a litre of unleaded, with the cost of a litre of petrol at now costing 128.7p and diesel costing 132.7p

ASDA Grocery Online stepped up the price war earlier today by knocking a further 2 a litre off the cost of unleaded petrol and diesel, meaning motorists filling up their tanks at its supermarkets will not be charged more than 128.7p a litre for petrol and 132.7p a litre for diesel fuel .

ASDA petrol director, Andy Peake, said: “Customers shouldn’t have to buy into gimmicks and promotions to benefit from cheaper petrol – no one should have to pay a premium on food to lower the cost of fuel .”

“Once again ASDA is leading the way in saving drivers money and since Saturday, we’ve taken 5ppl off the cost of filling up.”

Sainsbury’s swiftly responded by announcing that it will also reduce fuel prices “by up to 2p a litre” from midnight tonight.

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

Asda Pays Out Record Bonus To Employees

June 25, 2011 · Filed Under Shopping News · Comment 

UK retail chain ASDA Grocery Online intends to give its employees a record £49 million payout as part of its Sharsave incentive scheme. 14,700 Asda employees will share the tax free bonus, which is a savings plan that is linked to the stock price of Asda parent company Walmart.

Under the scheme, employees who participate can save anywhere from between £5 and £250 every month, after three years, the cash they have accumulated can be used to buy Walmart shares at a discounted price.

Last year Asda paid out a record £47 million cash pot to its employees as it sought to reward them for helping the company achieve its financial targets.

“This is the third consecutive year that our colleagues have enjoyed a record Sharesave payout,” said Sarah Dickins, people operations and policy director at the supermarket giant.

“Our colleagues drive the long-term success of our business; with a 70 per cent increase on the money they invested for this year’s payout I am delighted that so many of our colleagues are reaping the rewards of their hard work.”

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Asda Extends Price Guarantee To Electrical And Toys

June 15, 2011 · Filed Under Online Shopping, Shopping News · Comment 

UK retailer ASDA Grocery Onlineis extending its 10% price guarantee to non food lines such as ASDA Electricals UK, and toys, the supermarket chain has said.

Asda chief executive Andy Clarke, speaking at the annuals British Retail Conference in London said the move was simply a natural extension of the retailers price pledge, that guarantees shoppers that a fixed basket of grocery products at Asda stores will always be at least 10 per cent less expensive than the same basket of goods at rival stores. Failing which Asda has promised to refund the difference.

Asda claims that as many as three million shoppers now check prices because of its guarantee scheme, which it rolled out last year.

“We’ll look to keep extending the Asda price guarantee,” said Clarke. “To see what price you’re paying [compared to elsewhere] is going to become even more important for general merchandise.”

Mr. Clarke added that electronics, home wares and seasonal items such as toys “are market opportunities where mums this Christmas will be thinking really hard when they’re shopping for Santa.”

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

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