Press Centre

Today [3rd February] ASDA called full time on rip off strip pricing by slashing the cost of six nations rugby shirts. The Six Nations tournament, which will kick off with England vs Wales at 3.30pm tomorrow [Saturday 4th February], is the first major event of the 2006 sporting calendar and ASDA is selling official match shirts at £15 less than its competitors.

By sourcing via the grey market, ASDA has been able to sell the 5,000 official long-sleeved replica shirts for only £30 in 86 stores across the UK. It is also selling match quality shirts in its Welsh stores for only £50.

This isn’t the first time the high price of football kits has become a talking point. In August 2003 ten businesses were fined a total of £18.6m by the OFT for fixing the price of Umbro football kits. At the time ASDA blew the whistle on over-priced Manchester United football shirts by cutting the price of the world’s most famous red strip by £15.

“Everyone’s agreed, firing up a passion for sport is essential in getting the nation of its sofas and onto the pitches.” Said Paul Crier General Manager for Sports, “However, a family of four is expected to pay around£180 to buy the latest strip and get behind their national team.”

“Today is just the beginning,” promised Crier, “We’re serious about making sports more affordable and customers can expect to see similar price cuts on the most sought after sporting goods throughout the year.”

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Further information:
ASDA Press Office 0113 241 7829 (direct)
0113 243 5435 (out of hours)

Posted in Press Centre on 03 February 2006
Press Centre

Even cheapskates can play Cupid this Valentine’s thanks to one leading supermarket as, today, ASDA unveiled Britain’s first ever “economy brand” Valentine’s card. The ASDA Smart Price Valentine allows you to say “B My Valentine” to the object of your desires for only 8p.

The cards feature ASDA Smart Price’s black, white and red colours; bear a love-heart and the ASDA Smart Price logo and are Britain’s cheapest ever way of saying “I Love You”.

Fergal Gara, ASDA’s Papershop Manager said, “We've got all the luxury cards, chocs and flowers you could possibly need but we wanted to find a way of giving the fellas absolutely nowhere to hide when it came to sending a Valentine's card.”

The ASDA Smart Price Valentine, designed by Tailormade Design Ltd in Bradford, is available now in all 300 ASDA stores and for 8p they’ll even throw in the envelope.

“`Romance isn't dead,” said Gara, “It's just being done on a shoestring.”

It’s not just the chronically unromantic that ASDA is targeting with this move. Anyone who wants to hedge their bets for February 14th can send four of the cards for little more than the cost of a first-class stamp.

ASDA's Smart Price range also includes baked beans at 15p per in and sliced white bread at 28p a loaf.

Those without a date on Valentine’s Day could pick one up with their weekly shop at ASDA Old Kent Road this week. The store will be holding a singles’ night on Monday 13th February after it found that the store had the highest proportion of ready-meals-for-one sales of any in the UK.

HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES OF THE CARD ARE AVAILABLE BY CALLING THE ASDA PRESS OFFICE ON 0113 243 5435

Further information:
Out of hours and weekends, 0113 243 5435
Rachel Fellows, ASDA Press Office, 0113 241 7829 (direct)

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Posted in Press Centre on 12 February 2006
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The stylish black labels started appearing on ASDA produce last September, and after a successful rollout, are now found on around 800 different products.

Mary Ling, ASDA produce marketing manager said: "Customers told us when they walked into our produce department all they saw was a mass of colour! It was hard for them to quickly spot the products they wanted to buy.

"We realised we needed to improve the ease of shop for our customers, so we started the process of redesigning the look and feel of our packaging. We're really chuffed with the results."

"The aim of the new design is to promote freshness and quality, while giving consistent customer messages that are clear and easy to read."

ASDA has improved several elements of the design, including adding nutritional information onto all its products (not just the added value items), putting the 5-a-day message on products (where applicable), and for British and local produce highlighting the country of origin (using the relevant flag - Union Jack, Scottish Saltaire and Welsh dragon), and the county of origin including printing the farmer's name. The Assured Farm Standard logo has also been added.

Mary added: "The feedback from customers has been tremendous. They have responded well to the new look, and their perception in terms of our produce quality, is moving in all the right directions."

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Posted in Press Centre on 09 February 2006
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On the day Wal-Mart announced its full year results for its latest financial year, ASDA announced it was set to create 7,000 news jobs through a minimum of 25 new stores and five major investment schemes in places it currently trades - the first, in Fleetwood Lancashire, will open next week (27th February).

News of the expansion also comes as ASDA prepares to open the first of its new format stores, ‘ASDA Essentials’ in Northampton before Easter.

The new openings in 2006 demonstrate ASDA’s continued flexible approach to new stores, with a variety of small, medium and large stores, the new discount-plus format, ‘ASDA Essentials’, and acceleration of the ASDA Living programme.

Plans also include further town centre and regeneration schemes. In Romford, customers will benefit from an exciting mixed-use scheme, combining an ASDA store with 229 new apartments, with over a third listed as affordable housing. This £25 million investment will also include the transformation of a derelict leisure centre and 450 new jobs. In Hounslow, ASDA will play a part in one of the largest mixed-use regeneration schemes in the UK - The Blenheim centre. The regeneration of this town centre represents a £220 million investment.

2006 plans include, amongst others, new stores in Fleetwood, Huntly, Feltham, Newton Abbot, Rushden, Alloa and Hounslow. Ellesmere Port and Rawtenstall will both benefit from store re-sites, whilst customers in Scotland can experience ASDA Living as the supermarket opens its first non-food store in Glasgow this spring. An additional two George high street stores will also open in 2006 in Middlesbrough and Southend.

250 new jobs will also be created through store extension schemes at ASDA stores in Bodmin, Broadstairs, Pentwyn, Dumbarton and Coventry.

Judith Mckenna, ASDA’s chief financial officer said, “Our 2006 store and investment programme further demonstrates our commitment to flexible formats, mixed use and re-generation schemes, enabling us to create an increasing number of jobs across the UK.”

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Further information:
Sian Horner, 0113 241 7829
Out of hours, 0113 243 5435

Posted in Press Centre on 21 February 2006
Press Centre

With the smoking ban coming into force in the summer next year, ASDA has launched a 'Quit Smoking Clinic' at its Small Heath store.

Customers will be encouraged to attend a weekly 'Quit Smoking Clinic' held at the ASDA supermarket on Coventry Road.

The clinics are run in conjunction with Eastern Birmingham Primary Care Trust whose aim is to give customers tailored advice from the team of NHS professionals on how to successfully work on giving up for good.

The 'Quit Smoking Clinics' are free to customers and will be held in store on Saturdays from the 25th February for a period of ten weeks.

Store manager Jane Smaldon said, "We hope that our clinics will get Small Heath breathing easier and we will offer our customers as much support as we can. Here at ASDA we feel that with will-power and support we will have our shoppers quitting cigarettes for good"

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Contact the ASDA Press office for more information contact
Kath Brady Event Coordinator (0121) 766 7374

Posted in Press Centre on 16 February 2006