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  • Comp sales (like for like) growth for fourth quarter up 7.2% (ex. petrol), 6.5% for full year
  • Winning new customers across the UK, with largest gains in South of England
  • Sales momentum accelerating into 2009 thanks to ASDA’s strengthened price leadership
  • CEO, Andy Bond, calls on Government to promote competition during the recession

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced today (17th February) that ASDA delivered another strong sales performance in the fourth quarter of 2008 achieving comp sales (like-for-like) growth of 7.2% (excluding petrol). This was up from 6.9% in Q3, 6% in Q2 and 5% in Q1.

A combination of increased customer numbers and higher basket spend, driven by its long-standing commitment to everyday low prices, saw ASDA beat both its sales and profit plan for the full year. Comp sales growth for the full year was 6.5% (excluding petrol). Britain’s second biggest supermarket has now out-performed the market for eleven successive quarters.

Posted in Press Centre on 17 February 2009
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Today [Tuesday 10th February] ASDA is reaffirming its commitment to cut out unnecessary waste by joining INCPEN (The Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment) – one of the UK’s leading non-government organisations helping to make packaging more sustainable throughout the supply chain.

The supermarket, which has already reduced packaging on its own label products by 25% in the last 12 months, will now pool its operational knowledge and technical expertise with material suppliers, packaging manufacturers and other retailers of packaged goods from across the globe, in a bid to minimise the environmental impact of the product supply chain for the greater good.

By working cross-functionally with other influential companies under INCPEN’s guidance, ASDA hopes the industry can implement cross-sector improvements to help reduce consumption and keep costs to a minimum – enabling the supermarket to pass on savings by lowering prices so that its customers can afford to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Posted in Press Centre on 10 February 2009
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As part of ASDA’s commitment to monitor and improve the conditions under which its products are produced, the retailer is today (Friday 13th February 2009) hosting its first ethical trading conference for suppliers at its Merchandising Centre of Excellence (MCE) in Morley, West Yorkshire.

Lead by ASDA’s ethical sourcing team and addressed by Rt Hon Ed Balls MP (Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and MP for Normanton), the conference will bring together 300 of ASDA’s leading own-label suppliers, Yorkshire businesses and other key stakeholders, with the goal of improving ethical business standards across the supply chain.

In partnership with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, Unite, the Garment and Leather Workers Federation and Anti-slavery International, ASDA will share best practice with suppliers to ensure they are effectively equipped to address ethical sourcing issues.

Posted in Press Centre on 13 February 2009
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  • The increase in AB shoppers has led to demand of premium products like 100% Linen
  • Sales of bikinis have risen by 22% year on year.

Despite the recent snow and freezing temperatures across the country, ASDA has noticed a very unusual demand for summer clothing from customers.

Requests for swimwear, flip flops and natural materials like 100% cotton and linen have been flooding into the stores headquarters and sales of bikinis have surprisingly risen by 22% year on year.

Savvy shoppers told ASDA they wanted to buy summer wear now to spread the cost of their holiday wardrobes. George customers also told the supermarket that items like linen can be worn now and all the way through to the summer months, dressed up or down, making it a low ‘cost per wear’ item.

Posted in Press Centre on 19 February 2009
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  • Up to £420 paid to full time colleagues
  • £129 million worth of windfalls paid since Wal-Mart acquisition in 1999
Today 133,000 ASDA store and depot colleagues celebrated after sharing a record £22 million bonus pot. The windfall, which is paid into colleagues’ February pay packet today, will be distributed amongst colleagues with more than six months service working in ASDA’s 358 stores and 23 depots across the UK. For the third year running, more than 44,000 ASDA colleagues from 130 stores and 16 depots nationwide outperformed their performance targets.

As a result they will pocket full bonus entitlement – with a payout of up to £420 for every full time colleague in store that reached the ‘super bonus’ threshold*.

The annual performance-related bonus scheme was first introduced in 1999 after ASDA was acquired by Wal-Mart. The total amount paid to colleagues across the chain has now reached more than £129 million.

This year’s record bonus payments reflect ASDA’s performance in 2008 (N.B. ASDA is due to report it’s 4th quarter trading figures on next Tuesday 17th February).

Caroline Massingham, ASDA’s People Director commented: “This record £22m payout is only possible thanks to the continued hard work and dedication of all of our store and depot colleagues. “Once again they have helped us deliver outstanding value and customer service to millions of shoppers across the UK. Their bonuses are hard-earned and well deserved and will provide a helping hand for colleagues in difficult times.”

Posted in Press Centre on 13 February 2009
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The average UK household had £143 a week disposable income in January 2009, two per cent lower than a year earlier, according to the latest Income Tracker report from ASDA.

As a result the average family is now £3 a week worse off. The report indicates that inflationary pressures are easing rapidly, which means family discretionary spend is likely to rise within the next couple of months.

However as the fear of unemployment increases, many households will opt to save rather than spend any extra household income.

The new risk to discretionary spend comes from rising unemployment and weaker earnings growth.

Posted in Press Centre on 23 February 2009