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Unleaded falls to 134.7p per litre, diesel falls to 139.7p per litre

Asda announced today that from tomorrow (Thursday 10th May) it is cutting an additional up to 2p a litre from the price of both unleaded and diesel. The move from Asda is the third price cut in the last three weeks, meaning its fuel prices have cumulatively dropped by up to 6p per litre.

From tomorrow (Thursday) drivers filling up at any of Asda’s 196 forecourts nationwide will pay no more than 134.7 pence per litre for unleaded and 139.7 pence per litre for diesel. This marks the first time since late February that diesel falls below the 140p per litre mark.

An ease in global oil prices coupled with the retailer’s ongoing commitment to help lower the cost of living will be good news for hard pressed motorists, with the cost of fuel hitting record highs in recent months. According to Asda’s own Income Tracker, the cost of transport is now one of the largest downward factors on falling disposable income. The price of fuel in particular has grown by double digits over the last year, forcing families to fork out between £20-£30 extra each week to fill up their car.

Posted in Press Centre on 09 May 2012
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Andrew Moore, Executive Managing Director of George held a business briefing on the George business, following the completion of the sourcing division of GAAT, George’s largest supplier on 27th April.

GAAT, based in Turkey and established by the Turkmen Group, has built and exclusive partnership with George over the past 10 years, working with over 80 manufacturers to deliver products to George customers. The acquisition of GAAT’s sourcing arm, and creation of a new company – George Turkey – signals a new era for George’s supply chain.

Andrew Moore said; “The acquisition of the sourcing arm of GAAT is part of our commitment to a better, faster, lower cost supply chain.”

Andrew explained to an audience of journalists and retail commentators that by bringing production closer to home, George will be able to deliver even faster fashion to its customers – reducing lead times from 16 weeks to just eight. Stores will also be able to replenish stock more quickly, making sure customers can access the products they are looking for, when they want them. As a result of the recent bad weather, George has brought forward over £6 million worth of wet weather products –including macs and zip up tops – to help customers stay fashionable, whatever the weather.

George at Asda’s brand director Fiona Lambert also took the opportunity to showcase the latest ranges on offer to George customers, including a range of ‘jubilee’ inspired products. A pair of £1 Union Jack socks have proved and instant hit with customers selling out in stores. A further 50,000 pairs are now on order.

Speaking about the growth of the George business, Andrew Moore said; “We’re dialling up our fashionability credentials for customers who are demanding even more for their money in this tough market. George isn’t just ‘good for a supermarket clothing retailer’ it’s competing with the highstreet.”

George at Asda is the third largest clothing retailer in the UK by volume, and the largest retailer of kidswear in the UK by volume. The business was established in 1990 and now retails out of all 544 Asda stores. The George name is also traded in Walmart stores in seven countries globally, and will soon be opening franchise stores in the Middle East and Channel Islands.

You can watch a full recording of the event, including a background history of George and fashion show of George products produced through George Turkey, in the video below.



To view the slides from the presentation, click here


Posted in Press Centre on 11 May 2012
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Unleaded falls to 132.7p per litre, diesel falls to 137.7p per litre
 
Asda announced today that from tomorrow (Wednesday 16th May) it is cutting an additional 2p a litre from the price of both unleaded and diesel. The move from Asda is the fourth price cut in the last month, meaning its fuel prices have cumulatively dropped by up to 8p per litre.
 
From tomorrow (Wednesday) drivers filling up at any of Asda’s 196 forecourts nationwide will pay no more than 132.7 pence per litre for unleaded and 137.7 pence per litre for diesel. This is the lowest price of any fuel retailer – the first time since mid February that fuel has been offered so low.

An ease in global oil prices coupled with the retailer’s ongoing commitment to help lower the cost of living will be good news for hard pressed motorists, with the cost of fuel hitting record highs in recent months. According to Asda’s own Income Tracker, the cost of transport is now one of the largest downward factors on falling disposable income. The price of fuel in particular has grown by double digits over the last year, forcing families to fork out between £20-£30 extra each week to fill up their car.

Andy Peake, Asda’s director of petrol trading, said:
 
“There’s nothing we like more than lowering prices – but unlike other retailers, when we cut prices, we do so across the UK. That’s why no-one filling up at Asda will pay more than 132.7 ppl for petrol and 137.7 ppl for diesel regardless of where they live.”
 
Research taken from PetrolPrices.com shows that some retailers are getting away with charging up to eight pence per litre more in towns without an Asda nearby.
 
Asda is unique amongst supermarkets and oil companies by setting a maximum national price cap for its customers wherever they live – others rely on high prices at filling stations with no local competition to fund phoney price drops elsewhere. That clear policy is what lies behind the AA’s confirmation that towns with an Asda are likely to have Britain’s lowest petrol prices.
 
Back in March Asda launched a new petrol price comparison site www.asda.com/petrol, powered by independent price checker www.petrolprices.com, to enable drivers across the UK to find the lowest priced fuel before they fill up. The supermarket aims to save Britain’s 38m drivers millions of pounds at the pumps each year by publishing the highest, lowest and average prices in every one of the 196 towns in which it operates a filling station.

Posted in Press Centre on 15 May 2012
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GAAT Acquisition Means Better, Faster, Lower Cost George Supply Chain

  • Shorter supply chain improving stock availability and reducing lead times to around six to eight weeks
  • Faster production allowing George to weather proof its ranges to reflect sales patterns
  • Acquisition important element of Asda’s five year strategy to grow general merchandise and clothing sales
     
    On the day US parent Walmart prepares to release its Q1 earnings, Asda announced its George clothing business was on track to cut lead times and improve stock availability on its fashion ranges thanks to its acquisition of Turkish supply partner GAAT. The move will enable the retailer to flex its ‘Be Seen In’ ranges to better meet demand and to reflect local market conditions, like unexpected weather conditions.
     
    The announcement follows a business briefing held last Friday (11th May 2012) by Andrew Moore, Executive Managing Director of George announcing the formal completion of the acquisition of the sourcing division of GAAT, George’s largest clothing supplier.
     
    GAAT, based in Turkey and established by the Turkmen Group, has built an exclusive partnership with George over the past ten years, working with over 80 manufacturers to deliver George garments to customers both here in the UK and across the world.
     
    The acquisition of GAAT’s sourcing arm has led to the creation of a new company – George Turkey – signalling a new era for George’s supply chain.
     
    Andrew Moore said: “The acquisition of the sourcing arm of GAAT is part of our commitment to create a better, faster, lower cost supply chain.  We will now be able to work even more closely with manufacturers, to ensure our garments reach our stores as quickly as possible, and with an even stronger focus on the value and quality our customers expect from us.”
     
    Andrew explained to an audience of journalists and retail commentators that by bringing production closer to home, George will be able to deliver fashion trends to its customers even more quickly.– reducing lead times to just six to eight weeks and improving availability.
     
    Stores will also be able to replenish stock more quickly –  cutting in half the time it takes to receive new supplies. The move will ensure customers can buy the products they want, when they want them.
     
    George’s relationship with GAAT recently came into its own with the onslaught of the wettest April on record.  To ensure customers could stay fashionable whatever the weather, George brought forward over £6 million worth of wet weather products – including macs, wellies and zip up tops.
     
    As well as investing in its supply chain to further its fashion credentials, George has also ramped up its store offering, with the launch of two new ‘concept stores’ in the UK and stand alone George stores in the Middle East and Channel Islands.
     
    The new concept stores in Bolden and Leicester have been designed to create a department store shopping experience, rather than a typical supermarket look and feel. The store investment includes improved flooring, lighting and display concepts to encourage customers to browse.  The Fosse Park store saw a sales uplift of 40% in the first week and two further stores will be rolled out in Barrow and Castlepoint this Summer.
     
    The first George franchise store will open in Jersey in June, in partnership with franchising partner Sandpiper. George will open its first franchise stores in the Middle East later this year with renowned franchiser Azadea.
     
    Speaking about the growth of the George business, Andrew said: “We’re dialling up our fashionability credentials for customers – both at home and overseas – who are demanding even more for their money in this tough market.  This combined investment in our supply chain, product and store offering clearly shows that George isn’t just ‘good for a supermarket clothing retailer’ it’s competing with the high street.”
     
    George at Asda is the third largest clothing retailer in the UK by volume, and the largest retailer of kidswear in the UK by volume. The business was established in 1990 and now retails out of all 544 Asda stores in the UK.  The George brand is also used in seven Walmart countries globally.
     
    Next week (Monday 21st May) Asda will release its second Mumdex economy report, with a focus on kids. The research is expected to show that whatever the state of the economy parents will always prioritise spend on their children. The report will show a third of mums have found refreshing their children‘s wardrobe a struggle, whilst a fifth have found it difficult to dress their children in the latest fashion trends. This means mums are looking for other ways to dress kids in the latest trends, without breaking the bank and  two fifths are buying more children‘s clothes from supermarkets.
     
    The focus on delivering for kids and mums is returning results for the Geroge business – which is now the clear leader in the kidswear market, with 1 in 5 items of kidswear sold in the UK from George.
Posted in Press Centre on 17 May 2012
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Walmart has today released its Q1 earnings for FY 2013. The period covered by Walmart’s announcement is Asda’s first quarter from 1 January 2012 to 31 March 2012. The full press release and investor relations script can be found at www.walmartstores.com/investors, but for ease of reference we’ve pulled out the specific mentions of Asda.

In summary:

  • Like for like sales, for 12 weeks from 8 January to 31 March 2012 grew 2.2 per cent, excluding acquisitions, VAT and fuel
  • Like for like sales reported by Walmart for the full calendar quarter, including the additional leap year day increased 5.0 percent excluding acquisitions, VAT and fuel
  • Like for like customer numbers in the calendar quarter were up by 2.9 per cent with basket spend up 2.1 per cent
  • Total sales, excluding acquisitions, VAT and fuel, grew by 7.1 per cent


Commenting on the results Andy Clarke, CEO and President of Asda said:

“I’m proud of the work our stores, depots and teams at Asda House and George House put in during the quarter, to build on our end-of-year momentum and deliver market-leading growth. Customers really valued our price leadership, the ongoing improvements in quality and our commitment to warm and friendly service.”


On the call, Doug McMillon, President & CEO of Walmart International said:

“The U.K. had a strong first quarter, growing sales, and growing operating income faster than sales, excluding fuel. In the first quarter of this year, overall sales grew 7.1 per cent and comparable sales increased 5.0 per cent, excluding acquisitions and fuel, driven by core growth in grocery and children’s apparel. The comparable sales included a strong first week in January.”


Please note:

  • The overall sales growth of 7.1% excludes acquisitions, VAT and fuel, and therefore exclude sales from Asda’s converted Netto stores.
  • You will also recall at Q4, Asda provided a 14 week LFL sales number to 7 January 2012, to account for the final week of Christmas and New Year trading. Asda’s LFL for the 12 weeks to 31 March 2012, excluding both this week and the benefit of an additional day in the quarter due to the leap year, was 2.2 per cent (excluding VAT & fuel).


Doug McMillon went on to say:

“Traffic in the quarter increased by 2.9 per cent, and average ticket also increased by 2.1 per cent. In addition, our online business in the U.K. maintained its strong performance, with sales growth of 19.2 per cent in the quarter.

“With customers trusting EDLP, we carried the momentum gained over Christmas into the first quarter. The ASDA price guarantee attracted more than 500,000 online checks per week in the first quarter.

“The U.K.’s gross profit rate, excluding acquisitions, was relatively flat compared to last year. Excluding acquisitions and last year’s pension costs, first quarter expenses as a percentage of sales grew slower than sales. We continue to sell at lower prices by embedding cost savings programs in operations.

“ASDA added three new stores [Worcester, Tunbridge Wells and Ramsgate] in the quarter and ended the first quarter with a total of 544 stores, including 32 Supercentres, 310 Superstores, 27 Living stores and 175 supermarkets.

“In March, we announced the acquisition of GAAT, which is a division of the Türkman Group, based in Istanbul. GAAT performs the design and sourcing of our successful George apparel brand, and the synergies from the new relationship will enhance our global sourcing capabilities. The transaction closed in April, which falls into the second quarter.”

Click here to see the business briefing by Andrew Moore, Executive Managing Director of George, following the completion of the sourcing division of GAAT.

Posted in Press Centre on 17 May 2012
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Asda Mums say social progress is faltering but having a happy family matters most

  • Monthly tracking figure shows mums’ overall economic confidence slips down the pessimism scale to net-16 per cent
  • Mums’ fear that for the first time in generations, their kids cannot look forward to a better quality of life than their own
  • Asda Mums worry about the cost of parenting for longer, with half of mums already supporting their children financially for longer than their parents had to support them
  • Kids remain mums’ top priority, spending nearly double on their children than what they put away in savings
  • Mums, however, remain positive about role of the family – less money means more time spent together

Today, Monday 21st May 2012, Asda’s second Mumdex economy report reveals that tough times remain, with Asda Mums feeling more gloomy about the future than they were last quarter. The overall Mumdex optimism score falls from net -8 per cent to net -16 per cent1.

The substantive research, made up of a panel of 4,000 mums, shows that fears over the balancing the books are affecting not just mums’ concerns for the family budget in the here and now, but real threats to their kids’ futures and their family’s quality of life.

Read more
Posted in Press Centre on 21 May 2012
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  • Asda Price Guarantee ‘£5 off £40 bonus’ returns today (21st May) in time for Jubilee celebrations
  • Jubilee initiative follows success of Easter and Christmas £5 off £40 bonus which attracted 16 million hits to the Asda Price Guarantee website

Asda’s £5 off £40 bonus, the most impactful pricing combination ever carried out by a supermarket, returns to stores today (Monday 21st May). The £5 off £40 bonus, which was the centrepiece of Asda’s market outperformance in the final quarter of 2011 and at Easter, has been re-launched in time for the Jubilee to help hard pressed mums and supplement its unique ‘Asda Price Guarantee’.
Every customer who spends £40 or more between 21st May and 17th June and successfully checks their bill online at www.asda.com/priceguarantee, will receive a £5 off £40 bonus voucher. They can then redeem this voucher against their next £40 shop in store until 17th June.

What’s more, the £5 bonus is on top of the existing Asda Price Guarantee – a cast iron pledge that an Asda basket will always be 10 per cent cheaper against Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrisons or Asda will issue a voucher to make it so.

Posted in Press Centre on 21 May 2012
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UK families £6 a week worse off in April 2012 than a year earlier

  • UK families were £6 a week worse off in April 2012 compared to the same month a year earlier, 4.2 per cent lower than a year earlier
  • Average UK household had £144 a week of discretionary income in April, the joint-lowest level of disposable income since November 2008
  • Declines in family spending power slowed in April, driven by the lowest inflation rate increase since September 2010

The latest Asda Income Tracker has revealed that family spending power fell by £6 a week in April 2012 – leaving the average UK family with £144 of weekly disposable income, 4.2 per cent down from the same time last year.

While this is the joint-lowest that weekly discretionary incomes have been since November 2008, the latest movement in the Income Tracker is an improvement on previous year-on-year declines. Indeed, a £6 annual decrease is the smallest since March 2011.

Growth in the cost of living slowed notably in April – to the lowest rate in 19 months. The consumer price index (CPI) rose over the previous twelve months by 3.0 per cent, down from 3.5 per cent annual inflation in March. Annual growth in the price of essential items also slowed in April to the lowest since July 2010.

As well as those that are in work seeing small year on year salary increases, well below inflation, tough conditions in the labour market mean unemployment is still having an impact despite slight year-on-year improvements in the headline rate. Balancing the two conflicting elements, family income growth is still very fragile, with the improving cost of basics overshadowed by the high number of workers remaining unemployed. Family finances are likely to remain constrained for some time yet.

Read more and download the full report
Posted in Press Centre on 24 May 2012
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  • Brits stocking up on sausages, burgers and Pimms
  • Sales of BBQ food and drink set to heat up as the mercury expected to hit 27 degrees
  • Asda predicts its biggest BBQ weekend of the year

With temperatures in the UK this week set to be hotter than traditional hot spots such as Greece and Italy, Asda have revealed its preparations for the expected boom in sales of BBQ food and drink.

With the dull, grey and miserable weather we’ve experienced so far this year and temperatures struggling to reach double figures, it would appear that Brits are not prepared to let this mini heat-wave go to waste.

Temperatures are set to peak at 27 degrees, making it the hottest day of the year so far, with the met office predicting the mini heat wave will last well into the weekend.

And as shoppers dust off those BBQs and stock up on BBQ food and drink, Asda is predicting a barbecue boost to its sales and are expecting to sell the following:

  • 5 million sausages which is 70% more than normal
  • 1 million burgers
  • Half a million bags of salad which is 20% more than a normal week.
  • 115% increase in sales of Burger buns
  • 60% increase in sales of Ice Cream Cupcakes
  • 75% increase in sales of Pimms
  • 300% increase in sales of Melton Mowbray pork pies

Chris Carden, Asda’s head of fresh food supply said today: “We have already seen rising sales throughout the week of typical BBQ fare such as burgers and sausages but with the mini heat wave expected to continue into the weekend, we’re expecting it to be one of the biggest we’ve ever seen for barbecue foods.”

Posted in Press Centre on 24 May 2012
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As millions of customers embrace shopping with their smartphone

  • Asda Direct and George.com m-web sites enable customers to shop more easily from their smartphones
  • More than six per cent of grocery orders already placed on a mobile device
  • Asda leveraging its relationship with @walmartlabs to build market-leading smartphone apps and m-web sites, with iPad apps in pipeline
  • 40 per cent of Asda Direct and George.com orders collected in store by customers – bridging gap between online and offline

Following the successful launch of online grocery apps for iPhone and Android smartphones, and m-web sites for food, general merchandise and George, Asda has today (Tuesday 29th May 2012) revealed it has completed the first phase of its web-to-mobile integration strategy.

Customers can now switch seamlessly between desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, enabling them to shop whether they’re at home, on the move, or in one of its 544 stores.

The retailer now expects more than one-in-ten online orders to be placed via a mobile device by the end of 2012, as it sees an exponential growth in customers choosing to shop on the move with their smartphones.

Read more
Posted in Press Centre on 29 May 2012