Aisle Spy Electronics

Well, it’s Monday morning and I’ve just finished looking at the sales and performance from the first week of our technology event. The review of the previous week is the first thing that we do as a buying team here at Asda.

It looks set to be a huge success and a hit with our customers. At the top of the list is the Sanyo 32" LCD – we bought thousands of units in for the event on top of the stock that we already had in stores and after the first week of trading we’ve already sold 3,000 more units than we thought we could sell for the whole fortnight, beating all expectations for this line. If you’re thinking of buying one of these this week then you’ll need to get out to a shop pretty quick as I’m sure they’ll be gone very soon.

The second success is the Philips Blu-ray Player at £97. We’re over 45% sold through at the end of the first week and the feedback from the shops is that the player is going from strength to strength and demand is growing by the day. Customers are all talking about what a great product this is and with the price sub £100 then it looks like we’ve already achieved the price that customers thought would come in a Jan Sale! Good for Asda hey? I have to say I can’t believe we have sold so many units so quickly – that said, if you have a HD Ready TV then a Blu-ray player is a must.

We’ve also taken lots of calls from customers into our call centre about the Blu-ray player asking whether it will play DVDs? The answer is yes, it supports all CD and DVD disk formats on top of Blu-ray. Not only that but it will greatly improve the quality of the DVD playback when watched on a HDTV as it will upscale the picture to either 720p or 1080p, depending on your HD screen giving you near HD from your old movies.

If anyone has any questions about the event or lines we sell then just ask. I’ll do my best to answer them.

Posted in Aisle Spy Electronics on 16 November 2009

Put simply, as a buyer for Asda it doesn’t come much better than what’s going on right now in our shops. Yesterday we launched Technology Week, the culmination of months of planning and preparation, working alongside our key suppliers to put together a programme of big branded products that our customers will just love as they begin to start thinking about Christmas and just treating themselves to something special.

The big line that’s creating all the buzz on the internet is a Philips Blu-ray Player BDP3000. It’s been a real challenge in Asda to bring our customers a great value price on a branded Blu-ray player – one which I think we have met very well.

We’ve gone out at £97, which for a fully featured player that comes with BD Live features too to access online content is an amazing price and is selling like hot-cakes. The icing on the hot cakes came when What Hi-Fi reviewed the player and gave it a four-star rating saying it was a great product even at £160 … never mind the Asda Price.

The buy on the Blu-ray player is 10,000 units so there is plenty of stock out in stores to not let our customers down with this line, very different to the one-day special offers that are appearing from other retailers.

The event aims to cater for just about everyone in the family. From the big items like a 32" Sanyo HD Ready TV for just £285, all the way to Samsung Crest Mobile for just £10 that comes with £5 worth of free airtime too, so whether it’s a stocking filler or something special for the home – you’ll find it.

My two personal favourites are the Tom Tom Start Sat Nav which we have cut from £119 to just £87 – a market-leading brand that just works so well – and the must have item for dads and kids, a pair of Sony noise cancelling headphones for £32. These beauties listen to the noise on the outside and then produce a frequency to reduce this noise, resulting in you being able to hear your music or the movie rather than the sound of the car, train or plane you’re on.

If you’ve not been down to Asda this week and love electronics, then I recommend a trip soon – there really is something for everyone.

Posted by Craig on 11 November 2009

Just returned from China where I have been with the Wal-Mart team over there checking out the new product ranges that they have in their stores, taking a look at how they do things and what we can bring back to Asda for our customers.

I found it fascinating taking a look at what’s new and exciting in the shops in Hong Kong, seeing which way the new trends in consumer electronics are going. Just as I expected, the technology trends are well ahead of the UK. On TV for example, we are still focused on selling HD Ready LCD product in the UK as we don’t really have access to an abundance of free HD content, but looking around HK it’s easy to see that both Full HD with LED screens (as opposed to LCD) is taking the market by storm.

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Posted by Craig on 30 September 2009

Hi, I’m Craig. I’m the Buying Manager responsible for TV in Asda’s electronics category. I’ve only been in the role for six weeks having spent the last three years launching and running Asda Mobile (Asda’s own PAYG mobile network).

Craig Thirkell

The move from telecoms into the electronics team was a real no-brainer for me as I love everything about electronics, being a real techy. I work with a great team, who you’ll get to meet in these posts, all of whom cover everything from HDMI cables to the very latest ranges of iPod.

I’ve always worked for Asda after joining as a graduate 14 years ago. There’s never been a more exciting time to work in electronics as right now. Changes are fast and huge and through this blog I get the chance to share and get feedback on all the things that we are doing within the electronics team. I look forward to blogging with you and hearing back from you just what you think and more importantly what you need from Asda – so watch this cyber space.

Away from the day job I’m enjoying being a good dad, have a passion for photography. Having a 15-month-old boy gives me a great excuse to break out my DSLR and I even manage to squeeze in the odd round of golf!

Posted by Craig on 30 September 2009