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Posted in Press Centre on 18 February 2010
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Supermarket slashes emissions by 84,703 tonnes since 2007, despite opening 36 new stores

Asda announced today it had taken more than 80,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2-eq) out of its operations since 2007, despite opening 36 stores and serving an additional 2.5m customers each week.

The significant cut in emissions represents a seven per cent absolute reduction in CO2-eq in just two years, for every £1m of sales the supermarket today produces 66 tonnes of CO2-eq compared to 83 tonnes in 2007.

Asda’s carbon reduction announcement comes on the day that Walmart unveiled plans to eliminate a further 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its global supply chain by the end of 2015. This represents 150 percent of the company’s estimated global carbon footprint growth over the next five years and is the equivalent of taking more than 3.8 million cars off the road for a year.

Alongside the successful reduction of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases Asda is also its focusing on product innovation. The retailer has already developed Respectful Eggs, which use 50 percent less carbon to produce but cost the same as a standard free range egg. Asda is also trialling a refillable fabric conditioner dispenser, where customers can refill their 1.5L pouches up to 10 times, saving them nearly 40p each visit and reducing the amount of plastic packaging waste by up to 96 percent. Innovation in pork, dairy and textiles are planned for later in 2010.

Walmart has been a global leader in sustainability since 2005, when the then CEO and President of the company Lee Scott outlined ambitious targets to reduce carbon across its operations. That commitment required Walmart to cut emissions from existing stores by 20% by 2010, and new stores by 30% by 2013. Asda has already reached both targets ahead of deadline.

Paul Kelly, Asda’s External Affairs and Corporate Responsibility Director, said: “Saving money and cutting waste has always been at the heart of our business and that also puts sustainability centre stage. Compared to 2005, our stores are significantly more energy efficient, and despite our colleagues now delivering 400m more cases each year, our trucks are driving 19m fewer miles. Through a combination of food innovation, removing unnecessary waste, and the introduction of double-deck trailers, reverse logistics from our stores, we now have some of the most efficient stores in retail and the most cost-effective distribution network in the UK.”

Over the last two years these actions have saved us £30m and as a result we have invested in lowering the price of the weekly shop for its 18 million customers whilst also making a significant reduction in the impact is has on the planet.

Asda today also confirmed it is on target to send zero waste to landfill by the end of 2010. By reducing, recycling, and reusing all of the materials in its stores and depots, Asda is diverting almost 200,000 tonnes of waste compared to 2005.

This year to achieve its target, it is diverting all food waste from landfill, and implementing comprehensive colleague recycling facilities, allowing all its store and depot colleagues to recycle plastic bottles, cans and office paper. The remaining residual waste will be sent to energy recovery facilities.

Tomorrow Ed Miliband, Doncaster North MP and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, visits an Asda distribution centre in Doncaster, and will say:

“I’m really delighted that Asda is making a real effort in reducing their carbon footprint, it is very impressive and I congratulate them on their achievement. I look forward to seeing Asda making further progress and playing its part to help the environment.”

Posted in Press Centre on 25 February 2010
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  • Up to £437.50 bonus paid to full time store and depot colleagues
  • £129 million windfall paid since Walmart acquisition in 1999
  • 6,000 new job opportunities in 2010
  • 1 million more customers through the doors in 2009
  • Ambitious global sourcing plans aim to leverage Walmart buying strength

On the day that Walmart releases its full year results, Asda today announced that a successful 2009 means its store and depot colleagues will share a record £26 million bonus pot – 18 per cent higher than last year’s payout.

The retailer also committed to creating 6,000 new jobs in 2010 as part of a programme of recruitment to accommodate ten new store openings and ten store extensions.

Asda’s success in 2009 was primarily driven by an increase in customer numbers and higher average basket spend, after successfully broadening its appeal and welcoming one million more people through its stores each week.

For the fourth year running Asda store and depot colleagues will be rewarded for their hard work with a bonus payout of up to £437.50. The windfall, which is paid to colleagues on 26 February, will be distributed amongst those with more than six months service working in Asda’s 371 stores and 21 depots across the UK.

The best performing stores in each country were Asda Rayleigh (England) Asda Enniskillen (Northern Ireland) Asda Girvan (Scotland) and Asda Pwllheli (Wales) – who all exceeded their sales plans and posted record growth.

In addition to the bonus payout, Asda announced today that it will create more than 6,000 new jobs, building on the 20,000 full and part time jobs that have been created in the last three years as the retailer has continued to grow and be recognised as one of the best places to work in the UK.

These new jobs will not only increase the level of service on the shop floor but will also provide stepping stones into management positions for many existing hourly paid colleagues.

Chet Kuchinad, people director at Asda said:

“To announce a record bonus payout and the creation of thousands of new jobs in a challenging economic environment is testament to the successful year that we have had here at Asda.

“This success is absolutely down to the continued hard work and commitment of all of our store and depot colleagues who have once again gone above and beyond to deliver fantastic service and every day low prices to our customers’ week in, week out.

“On top of this we are continuing to recruit on a large scale in 2010, with thousands of new opportunities to join Asda this year. With one of the lowest turnover rates in British retail, we have an incredibly motivated and experienced workforce and are looking forward to expanding this in 2010.”

Later this morning Asda will outline how this year it will further leverage Walmart’s buying strength in 2010.

Asda will be an integral part of Walmart’s plans to lower costs through its new Global Merchandising Centres, leveraging the company’s global scale in both general merchandising and global food sourcing. Asda’s fresh produce business – International Produce Limited (IPL) – will also play a key role in reducing prices on imported produce such as melons, stone fruit and grapes. Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart, it will also buy in greater volume for stores in the worldwide Walmart family, helping to lower prices for Asda shoppers.

Asda president and CEO Andy Bond said;

“We’re putting the right structure in place to generate significant savings to customers over the years ahead, powered by our unique relationship with Walmart.”

Andy Bond will announce the retailer’s full year results today at 12pm. He will also be hosting a customer web chat online at from 2pm.

Posted in Press Centre on 18 February 2010
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This Jersey Royal season is starting early this year with Asda leading the market. This weekend the supermarket will be the first supermarket in the UK to sell the nation’s favourite potatoes following increasing customer demand for these buttery nuggets.

The Jersey Royal season traditionally spells the end of dark nights and the coming of spring, and this year Asda has pulled out all the stops to ensure that their customers get first dibs on the world-renowned potatoes.

Des Wilson, Produce buyer enthuses, “Jersey Royals are our customers’ favourite potato and they fly off the shelves as customers look forward to indulging in them for as long as the season will allow. We have worked closely with our growers this year to make sure that our customers get a special potato treat earlier than anyone else.

“We have speeded up the process of cultivating these delicious spuds by growing them in glass houses to protect them from the harsh winter weather, and they taste just as good as in season potatoes. We plan to give the competition a proper roasting this year!”

Jersey Royals owe their unique flavour to the rich fertile earth and gentle climate that the Island offers. These potatoes are grown on the steep South facing slopes of the island, known as côtils, where they benefit from the maximum amount of sunshine.

Jersey Royals are often referred to as the ‘Champagne of the potato world’ as they are the only vegetable to have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, meaning they can only be grown on Jersey.
Jersey Royals will be available in Asda stores from next week, at £1 for 1lb.

Posted in Press Centre on 27 February 2010
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Asda Income Tracker stalls for the second consecutive month

  • No change in discretionary income of average UK household
  • Earnings growth rises, but still significantly weaker than pre-recession
  • Annual rate of inflation reaches fourteen month high
  • Widespread increase in cost of essentials continues to apply pressure

According to the latest Asda Income Tracker, the arrival of 2010 has not resulted in an improvement in family finances.

January 2010 marks the second consecutive month that the average UK family is no better off than a year earlier. As a result, the average UK household had £164 a week of discretionary income in January 2010, a marginal 0.1% higher than a year earlier.

The continued pressure on family finances is in spite of an increase in the rate of growth in gross income, which has risen to 2.5% year on year in January, compared to an increase of 1.7% year on year in December. This is higher due to base effects from steep drops in early 2009 at the recession’s lowest point.

Posted in Press Centre on 24 February 2010
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Oysters at 25p each get Valentines off with a bang

With customers under pressure to spend money on lavish meals this Valentine’s Day, Asda has come up with the perfect solution by selling the ultimate aphrodisiac – fresh live oysters at just 25p each.

The lowest priced oysters on the market are sourced from Ireland which is famed for its top quality oysters and are fresh and live to ensure the best taste and flavour. Asda’s oysters are farmed in Strangford Loch which is fed by The Irish Sea. Customers will be able to hand pick their own oysters from the fish counter and get serving advice to help create the ultimate Valentine’s feast.

With Valentine’s fast approaching, Asda’s Head Chef suggests that couples can try three or four oysters as a starter, allowing shoppers to feed their loved ones for under £1 a head.

Oysters which are traditionally known as ‘posh nosh’ but they are becoming more popular with consumers who are prepared to try a wider variety of food. For the first time, Asda has gone the extra mile to make them affordable to all. At 25p each the oysters are just a drop in the ocean compared to Fortnum & Mason’s oysters at £2.50 each or four for £10.

Asda’?s Head Chef, Simon Shaw says, “Oysters are guaranteed to get pulses racing this Valentine’s Day. I would suggest serving them simply as a starter with just black pepper and lemon ensuring you can enjoy the natural flavours of the oysters – you and your date can supply the spice!”

Emma Alam, Asda’s Shellfish Buyer comments, “We’re always looking for ways to help our customer live the life of luxury and hope our affordable oysters will leave some change in our shopper’s pockets this Valentine’s Day.”

Asda 25p each
Tesco 46p each
Morrisons 45p each
Sainsbury’s 55p each
Waitrose 55p each
Selfridges 99p each
Harrods £1.00 each
Fortnum & Mason £2.50 each

Asda’s Irish Oysters are farmed allowing them to manage stock levels and ensure responsible sustainability

Each oyster is farmed on maps so that when the tide goes out they are hand picked to select the very best
Asda’s 25p oysters will be available in store from 8th February

Posted in Press Centre on 10 February 2010