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  • Agreement offers significant customer benefits on price, quality, range and service
  • Significant step forward in strategic ambition to grow Asda’s supermarkets division
  • Asda set to employ up to twice as many colleagues in each of the converted stores
  • UK Netto stores expected to trade under an Asda fascia by Summer 2011
  • Netto to focus on growth in Scandinavia and Northern Europe
  • Agreement subject to regulatory approval

Asda today (27th May 2010) announced it had reached agreement with Dansk Supermarked A/S to purchase its fully owned subsidiary, Netto Foodstores Limited.

The transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approval, will enable it to convert Netto’s UK locations into Asda stores and integrate them into its new supermarkets division for units smaller than 25,000sq ft.

Asda expects to finalise the transaction after approval from the Office of Fair Trading later this summer and to complete the refurbishment of the Netto stores to trade under an Asda fascia by the middle of 2011. Until official approval is granted, all Netto stores in the UK will continue operations as usual under existing management.

Netto was established in the UK in 1990 and operates 193 stores at an average 8000sq ft. It is the market leader in Denmark and among the fastest growing discounters in Germany, Poland and Sweden.

Commenting on the agreement, Asda’s president and chief executive Andy Clarke said: "We very much look forward to welcoming Netto’s colleagues into our business and joining our team. Customers will benefit from low prices on a significantly broader range of quality products, complemented by the wide range of services we offer in all our smaller stores.

“The creation of new in-store jobs in a tough economy will also be a welcome boost in scores of communities across the UK.”

With the transformation in range, customers will be able to complete a full weekly shop. As a result Asda will employ up to twice as many colleagues to serve customers compared to a Netto in the same location.

Managing director of Netto, Mr Claus Juel-Jensen, said that management and staff should be proud of Netto’s success: “Netto has been profitable and was appointed ‘Discounter of the Year’ in 2009. As a major league
player, Asda is the ideal purchaser of our UK business. We have substantial opportunities for growth in Scandinavia and Northern Europe and believe that the time has come to focus our efforts on the development of our business in these countries.”

Asda’s move to acquire all Netto’s UK stores is a key strategic building block in satisfying demand for the retailer in a much broader range of communities across the UK and underlines Asda’s commitment to its smaller stores division.

Pictures: Hi-res photos of one of Asda’s existing smaller-format stores can be downloaded here.

Posted in Press Centre on 27 May 2010
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*In a world first, Asda announces ‘not for profit’ price on ALL cancer treatment drugs

Asda calls on industry to follow its lead and end price mark ups on cancer treaTment drugs*

Today, in a world first, Asda announces a commitment to sell all privately prescribed cancer treatment drugs on a permanent ‘not for profit’ basis potentially saving thousands of pounds for sufferers. Lung disease is the biggest cancer killer of women in the UK and as part of Asda’s ‘not for profit’ commitment it now means that the price of Iressa, used to treat lung cancer, is now available for £2,167.71 compared to £2,601.25 at Lloyds Pharmacy, £3,251.57 at Boots and £3,253.56 at Superdrug.

Posted in Press Centre on 20 May 2010
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Latest Income Tracker shows a further drop in disposable income

  • Asda cuts petrol prices again to ease the strain of rising transport costs
  • 4.2 pc year on year decrease in discretionary income of average UK household
  • £8 a week decrease in family spending power compared with the same month a year ago

Asda has today announced a reduction in its petrol prices, adding to the cut it made last week, bringing unleaded and diesel down to no more than 113.9p and 116.9p respectively. The move, effective from Thursday morning, will be a helpful boost to families as the latest Income Tracker shows an £8/ week fall in the disposable income available to average UK families compared to a year ago.

Posted in Press Centre on 26 May 2010
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  • Like for like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, down 0.3 per cent, total sales growth in low single digits for Q1 (to 31st March 2010)
  • Profits grow ahead of sales beating internal targets
  • Store unveils £12m investment in front line services to reduce queues and assist customers
  • 300 new jobs set to be created at new home shopping centre in North London
  • 15,600 colleagues set to pocket £47m – biggest ever Walmart sharesave payout

Asda announced today (Tuesday 18th May 2010) that comp sales, without fuel, were down 0.3 per cent in the first quarter (up to 31st March 2010), while total sales grew in the low single digits. Profits for the same period grew ahead of sales, beating internal targets.

Posted in Press Centre on 18 May 2010
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You can preview each image by clicking on the thumbnail. To download a high-res version of the image right-click the ‘download high res image’ links and save to your computer.

!(Asda store exterior)! Pontefract store (1)
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Asda store exterior Pontefract store (2)
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!(Asda store exterior)! Pontefract store (3)
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!(Asda store exterior)! Pontefract store (4)
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Posted in Press Centre on 27 May 2010
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Retailer scores an early goal for England with £25 shirts and wins price war

Today supermarket retailer Asda announced it was putting a stop to the over-inflated prices of footballs shirts, selling the official FIFA England World Cup shirt for just £25 – which is half price compared to the current recommended retail price (RRP £49.99).

Asda is giving fans something to cheer about by helping genuine England supporters avoid paying over the odds to follow their country.

The retailer will be selling thousands of the shirts across its 259 stores in England and on from today, just in time for Monday’s friendly against Mexico and under a month ahead of the World Cup kick off in South Africa.

Posted in Press Centre on 20 May 2010
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Asda launches BOLLYshop Henna Body Decorations in a supermarket first

East literally meets West this week at Asda. As the traditional wedding season arrives, Asda customers can now plan an authentic ‘monsoon wedding’ as it becomes the first supermarket retailer to sell removable henna-style body decorations. The traditional semi-permanent henna bodypaint used in many Asian weddings, has now been given a twenty-first century make-over following a growing interest across the UK in Bollywood beauty.

According to Asda research, 38%* of female customers said they are always looking for fresh beauty ideas whilst the supermarket’s ethnic range has grown by 41% in the last year. The retailer believes that the new found popularity of traditional Asian beauty techniques such as eyebrow threading, recent Asian weddings in films and programmes like Eastenders as well as celebrity fans of henna designs including Madonna and Angelina Jolie has awakened an interest from non-Asian beauty fans whilst its Asian customers want easier access to traditional fashion and beauty accessories. All body tattoos stocked at Asda are transferable ‘wash off’ decorations, meaning customers can easily create the look without the hassle of semi permanent henna dye.

Noor Ali, Emerging Markets Buyer at Asda comments, “Now it’s not just Hollywood that we’re getting our beauty inspiration from; our customers are looking East for fresh ideas through fashion and film. After launching both Asian-style dresses and Bollywood films earlier in the year, this is another quality product which customers are asking for.”

Noor commented, “These body decorations are a fun, quirky and low maintenance way to stand out from the crowd, providing customers with the same expressive detail of traditional henna tattoos in a jiffy. They’re the perfect accessory whether it’s a night out with the girls, a family wedding or festival fun – washing off in a flash – these decorations enable you to go back into the office on Monday morning without the remains of traditional henna tattoos which can last a week.”

Additionally, 62% of Asda customers have said they would love to have a tattoo however they wouldn’t get one in case their taste changed.

The BOLLYshop Henna Body Decorations are available in 15 Asda stores across the UK and are priced at £3 each. Customers can find patterns which will fit all over the body including arms, legs, back, hands and feet.

Asda’s BOLLYshop H&B range includes:

  • Bolly Bindi 2pk
  • Bolly Bindi
  • Bolly Hand Art – Pink
  • Bolly Hand Art – Orange
  • Bolly Hand Art – Green
  • Bolly Foot Art
  • Bolly Pendant
  • Bolly Henna Hand Set 2pk
  • Bolly Henna Hand
  • Bolly Water Transfer
  • Bolly Back Art
  • Bolly Hair Gems
Posted in Press Centre on 19 May 2010
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15,600 existing Asda colleagues are set to pocket an estimated £47m(i) following the maturity of a three year Walmart sharesave scheme.

This year’s plan is the biggest ever Sharesave payout since Walmart acquired Asda in 1999, with an estimated £15 profit per share – a 90 per cent increase on each colleague’s savings.

Colleagues who have saved the maximum amount of £250 per month for the past three years are set to receive around £17,000 in total, £8,000 more than their original £9,000 investment.

In previous years, investors choosing to cash in their shares have spent their savings on anything from shark dives to cosmetic surgery, and second hand tractors to attending Elvis conventions in Vegas! However this year, the majority of colleagues receiving the payout are being a bit more practical – spending the windfall on home improvements or saving up for holidays and weddings.

Chet Kuchinad, Asda’s people director, commented:
“In tough economic times like these, it’s great that so many of our colleagues are sharing in the long-term success of the business.

“With almost a 90 per cent increase on the money they invested, they’ll certainly reap the rewards.”
The Sharesave plan, created in 1982, was designed to give ASDA colleagues a stake in the company and the chance to share in the success of the business. The Sharesave plan allows colleagues to save between £5 and £250 every month. At the end of the saving period, colleagues gain a tax-free bonus and can choose to use the savings and bonus to buy Wal-Mart shares discounted by 20 per cent.

(i)Sharesave estimated payout based on recent Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (WMT) share price. The scheme matures on 1st June 2010.

Posted in Press Centre on 18 May 2010
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Walmart appoints new Asda Chief Executive Officer – Andy Clarke to take up role immediately

Walmart today announced that Andy Clarke, Chief Operating Officer of Asda, has been appointed to the role of President and CEO and will take up the role immediately.

Andy has had a long career in UK retail. He joined Asda in 1992 and worked in a variety of roles, including store manager, business unit director of categories such as Frozen, Bakery and Produce and retail managing director for Asda’s central division. Between 2001 and 2005, Andy had senior roles at Matalan and Iceland before returning to Asda as retail director. He was named Asda’s chief operating officer in 2007.

With the appointment of Andy Clarke, Andy Bond will now take up his new role as Chairman of Asda’s Executive Committee from today to help ensure a smooth leadership transition.

Posted in Press Centre on 11 May 2010