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ASDA will be living up to its reputation as a pioneer for local products through a series of celebratory events taking place in its 307 stores across the UK during August. 

To highlight the strength and significance of its relationships with suppliers, ASDA is hosting ‘Local Celebration Weeks’, offering local food producers the chance to get onto the shop floor and give customers a taste of their local delicacies. 

Starting on 31st July, the event aims to confirm ASDA’s commitment to the local products and service ranges it has been developing since the scheme started five years ago. 

And as part of its commitment to increase its local supply range, ASDA is asking the customers to let it know exactly which local foods they want to buy in store. 

The search for a ‘Local Food Hero’ is open to anyone with a passion for a local product – including shoppers and suppliers – and nominations could result in the ‘hero’ product being sold in ASDA stores UK-wide.  

   

“As we’re approaching our fifth anniversary for Local Sourcing, we felt it was time to highlight the impact of our pledge to work with local suppliers – and Local Celebration Week is the ideal opportunity,” said Karen Todd, Head of Local Sourcing for ASDA.

  

“Choice, value and quality are what our customers really want and local food products really seem to hit the spot.  Offering them means more choice for customers and more sales for suppliers - everyone wins!” Karen added. 


Some of ASDA's best selling local lines which will be showcased throughout local week include: Porky Whites Sausages (South East), Just Puds Puddings, (Yorkshire) Doddington's Dairy ice cream (North East), Roberts bread (North West) and Bury Black Pudding (North West) Malcolm Allen Pies (Scotland). 

With over 3000 local products across the country, customers won't be short of choice. 

Other activities taking place as part of the ‘Local Celebration’ events include cookery demonstrations, health checks, and awareness sessions from local charities, emergency services, councils and community groups – all aiming to bring local people closer together.   

Posted in Press Centre on 27 July 2006
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Today (Friday 14th July) ASDA will complete the final stages of the extension of its seventh regional food hub - 'Best of Kent', taking locally produced food to a further eight ASDA stores across the region. 

The project, run in partnership with Bank Farm in Ashford, Kent, will bring over 80 local products direct from the farm to the supermarket shop floor, reflecting ASDA’s commitment to Britain’s smallest suppliers.  

The locally produced goods which were launched in ASDA stores in Ashford and Canterbury in September 2005, will now be sold in ASDA stores in Bexley Heath, Greenhithe, Swanley, Broadstairs, Chatham, Gravesend, Kingshill and Sittingbourne. 

Bank Farm, owned by man and wife team Doug and Steph Wanstall, was established in 1918 and the farming business has been passed down through the generations ever since.

With over 4,500 acres of land and thousands of animals, the hub initiative has been their latest challenge - linking small specialist producers with ASDA and giving them a route to market. 

Karen Todd, ASDA’s local sourcing manager says, “Having access to local producers through one community-based contact has enabled us to provide over 80 local products to customers in our Kent stores.  The extension of the hub across the region is a huge achievement for both ASDA and Bank Farm and will benefit customers across the region enormously, not to mention the local suppliers!" 

Doug Wanstall said, “The extension of the hub is fantastic news for everyone involved.  Our relationship with ASDA has grown over the past year as we have worked together to extend the hub, providing truly local products to even more local people."

Posted in Press Centre on 14 July 2006
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ASDA announced today (Tuesday 25th July 2006) it will stop sending any waste produced by its 307 food stores to landfill sites.

 

It has also embarked on a complete review of its own label packaging to reduce the amount of household rubbish which shoppers throw away each year. 

The groundbreaking commitment means that by 2010 everything the supermarket disposes of at the back of its stores will be recycled, reused or composted instead of being sent to landfill.  

In addition, all of the products it sells (under the ASDA brand) will be redesigned over the next 18 months, with the aim of reducing the weight and volume of packaging it produces by at least ten per cent. 

ASDA has already successfully redesigned all its salad bags reducing the thickness of the plastic by 15%, and removed an unnecessary cardboard sleeve on a selection of its ready meals.

 

The redesigned packaging is now set to be rolled out across dozens more food products in the coming months.  

David Cheesewright, chief operating officer at ASDA said:

"We're determined to stop sending stuff from our stores to landfill sites. We also want to help our customers reduce the amount of rubbish they throw away each week.  

 

"We will recycle, reuse or compost all of the waste we produce, and will cut our packaging by at least ten per cent. It's a massive commitment that's set to have a huge impact on the environment.

 

 We hope our competitors will follow our lead so that together we can help make landfill sites redundant." 

Last year ASDA opened four purpose-built recycling facilities at a cost of £32m in Lutterworth, Wakefield, Skelmersdale and Bedford enabling its fleet of delivery trucks to collect cardboard and plastic packaging from the back of stores.

As a result, it recovered and recycled 140,000 metric tonnes of cardboard (8% of the UK cardboard market) and 5,500 metric tonnes of plastic packaging from store waste.  

Hazardous wastes, including paint and fluorescent tubes are also segregated and collected, while waste meat and fish (animal by-product waste) is composted for use as a soil conditioner.

 

Even waste photographic chemicals are collected by ASDA to recover the precious metals contained in them such as silver.

Earlier this year the supermarket teamed up with children's TV character Bob the Builder to launch the ASDA Big Recycle, highlighting how customers can recycle cardboard packaging, glass bottles, tin cans, mobile phones, printer cartridges and old clothes. 

 It also carried out environmental audits with more than 600 local schools encouraging pupils to consider how they can reduce waste and save energy in their schools by recycling paper and turning off classroom lights on sunny days.

Posted in Press Centre on 25 July 2006
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 ASDA pet insurance has launched summer ‘Pooch Patrols’ in all ASDA store car parks.

From today, parking attendants will carry out special patrols during daylight hours to make sure pooches are not left to swelter inside hot cars whilst their owners shop in store. 

 If any pets are spotted in cars by ASDA’s Pooch Patrollers, their owners will be called over the tannoy system in store and asked to take their pets to the ASDA Pet Stops (areas to leave dogs tied up outside stores) where plenty of fresh water is available for dogs to drink. 

The RSPCA's chief veterinary adviser Tim Miles said:

 

 "A dog left in a warm car will quickly begin to suffer from heatstroke and can die an agonising death. On a warm day, these places can resemble an oven.

 

Each year, dogs left alone like this die after literally being cooked alive. There is no safe way to leave a dog like this in warm weather. Leaving windows open and a bowl of water is not enough.

 

Even when the weather is not particularly hot, dogs can suffer from heatstroke as up to 90 per cent of their body is covered in hair.”

Gev Lynott, director of financial services at ASDA, said:

 

 

 “The current high temperatures we’re experiencing are extremely dangerous for pets left in cars, even if the windows or sunroof are left slightly open.

 

ASDA is urging all pet owners to either leave their pets at home in the shade or if they do bring them shopping, take them to the Pet Stops provided in all ASDA stores where they will be able to remain cool and drink plenty of fresh water.”

 

Posted in Press Centre on 03 July 2006
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 Just weeks after announcing it had found a long awaited site in Inverness, ASDA has moved quickly to put forward proposals for a 45,000 sqft net superstore and petrol filling station at Slackbuie off the Southern Distributor Road.

The outline application – part of a wider vision for the area – also includes the provision of five smaller retail units. 

A separate outline application has also been lodged by Glasgow based Elphinstone Developments to build a 100 bed hotel and a health centre on an adjacent site at Slackbuie. 

The proposed new store will offer the full ASDA food ranges including bakery, butcher, delicatessen, takeaway and café. 

Non-food ranges will include the hugely successful George clothing ranges for men, women and children as well as music, DVD and jewellery. 

The store will also have a petrol filling station, bringing ASDA’s famously low fuel prices to Inverness and the wider area. 

400 new jobs are in prospect – a mixture of full and part-time positions, the majority of which will go to people living in the area. 

ASDA is proud to be regularly nominated as one of Britain’s Best Places To Work and last year was named Scotland’s Best Employer. 

Describing the Inverness plans, Senior Development Surveyor Andy King said,“We have looked long and hard at sites for Inverness but this is in our opinion the best possible location. 

We want to bring competition and choice to Highland shoppers. 

ASDA’s low prices are recognized throughout the UK and proven by our winning The Grocer 33 award for the 9th successive year for the lowest weekly grocery shop.”

He added,“That’s not the whole story though.  We have an exciting strategy for the North of Scotland. 

By developing a store format to suit smaller country towns such as the one we opened in Huntly in May, we now have plans to bring ASDA to Thurso, Tain and Banff for the convenience of many people and to help reduce the amount of traveling which people here take as a fact of life to do the weekly shop.”

 

Posted in Press Centre on 18 July 2006
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ASDA today (19 July 06) announced that it would be the first retailer in the UK to voluntarily raise the minimum age for customers buying knives and cigarettes* from 16 to 18.

The Challenge 21 scheme, that ASDA participates in, will also be extended. 

Customers who are lucky enough not to look 21, will be asked to provide proof of age to show that they are 18 or over when buying cigarettes and knives at ASDA stores. 

This widens the scheme, which currently includes the sale of alcohol, fireworks and 18 rated dvd’s and computer games.

 ASDA’s decision, which comes into force from 1 September 2006, happens at a time when knife crime is on the increase and laws around smoking are being scrutinised. 

The move falls during the Government’s consultation on proposals to crack down on teenage smoking (1). 

 

 

At the same time The Violent Crime Reduction Bill (2), is going through the House of Lords, which includes measures to increase the age at which a person can be sold a knife from 16 to 18. 

“Public opinion is changing in these areas and as a responsible retailer we felt we should do something,” said ASDA’s retail director, Andy Clarke, 

 “By raising the age limit to 18 for the sale of cigarettes and knives, not only are we helping discourage teenage smoking, but also helping our colleagues who sometimes find it hard to judge how old customers are,” added Andy. 

ASDA is calling for other large retailers, newsagents and small stores to follow its lead as well as adopt the Challenge 21 policy. 

 

 

The call to action follows Government research (3) which showed that nearly 70 per cent of 11 to 15 year old smokers say they buy their cigarettes from small retailers such as newsagents and corner shops.

Raising the age limit to 18 and adopting Challenge 21 also protects ASDA’s colleagues who are often faced with the responsibility of accurately identifying if the customer is 16, 17 or 18. 

 

Checking to see if customers are 21 makes the decision easier and protects them against potential prosecution and fines, for which, they are personally liable, under UK law. 

“ASH welcomes ASDA’s move to stop cigarette sales to under 18s, in advance of any Government decision to change the law in this area. We hope this will set an example to all retailers.

 

Smoking is a lethal addiction that should not be promoted to children and retailers should make sure that cigarette sales on their premises are made to adults only, said ASH spokesperson, Ian Willmore.  Notices will appear in ASDA 300 + plus stores before the age limit is raised on 1 September 2006.

 

Posted in Press Centre on 19 July 2006
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George at Asda, the experts at giving you more for less have pulled out all the stops with their new value led back to school range at George this summer.

 

With prices starting at 95p for a white polo shirt and a pair of grey trousers or skirt at £1.95 you can get a school outfit for an incredible £2.90!

 

Parents will be celebrating rather than dreading shopping for new school uniforms with these amazing prices from George at Asda.

 

In addition to the unbeatable value range, George has teamed up

with Teflon to help mums cut down on mountains of washing.

 

Research has shown that 43% of mums wash uniforms 2/3 times

a week adding up to an unbelievable 78 hours a year spent washing uniforms, without even counting, drying, ironing and folding.

 

George schoolwear is treated with Advanced Dual Action DuPont Teflon which protects clothing from spills and stains.

 

This means that the school uniform is protected against 97% of

common stains and can be washed at temperatures as low as 30c, saving on electricity bills and helping the environment. 

 

George offers a wide variety of styles that never fail to impress.

 

For girls aged 3 -16, a pack of two blouses starts at only £2.00,

available in short, long or ¾ length sleeves. 

 

Pretty scallop edge cardigans in 100% cotton come in red, navy, blue, charcoal, burgundy and brown and Teflon coated box pleated skirts are from £3.50 or A-line from £3.00. 

 

For boys aged 3–16, a pack of two shirts start at just £2.00, v-neck jumpers £4 or crew neck sweats £1.75 which again come in a variety of school colours!

 

The classic black blazer from £10 will give a smart edge to a school uniform and like the entire George school range is machine washable so you can finally say goodbye to dry cleaning bills!  

 

Another practical addition to this year’s collection is the George

hardwearing scuff resistant shoes, which are coated in Permair to

give maximum protection, making shoes breathable, water resistant and easy to clean - perfect for playground wear and tear!

 

Boys Velcro strap black shoes are only £6 and for girls a pretty pair

of cross-stitch ballet pumps will cost £9. For the sports field, there

is a classic white trainer at £4 and a fashionable black and red flame print trainer at £9.  

 

The new back to school range from George not only focuses on

price but also on comfort and quality, with the largest ever collection of 100% cotton clothing this year starting at £1.00 for a

white cotton polo shirt.

 

The cotton collection which includes skirts, trousers, polo shirts, sweats, shirts and cardigans in an extensive colour range is a welcome addition for children and parents who like natural fabrics.  

Posted in Press Centre on 05 July 2006
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From today [ 10th July 2006 ] ASDA's new home-buying and selling service launches in the North East.

The ten store1 trial will mark the first time homeowners will be able to sell their semi alongside the sausages or find a flat when they pop in to do the weekly grocery shop.

As well as being the most convenient way to keep their eye on the local property market, customers could stand to save thousands – and receive £1000 to spend at ASDA when you sell their home2.

The groundbreaking scheme is the first of its kind in Britain. Currently exclusive to the North East, it allows you to put your home on the market at your local ASDA store.

A team of specialists have been visiting ASDA supermarkets in the North East since 26th June, recruiting sellers for when the scheme which promises:

  • Just 1 per cent commission charge, bringing ASDA value to the home selling process. Compared to standard estate agency commission charges, this could save sellers thousands of pounds
  • A full home selling service – with a full support network, but without the hidden costs 
  •  Access to over 6,000 ³ buyers in the North East who can see your property's details seven days a week at ASDA and online.

All properties for sale will be viewable via a computer terminal prominently located in the ASDA store.

Both buyers and sellers can register their interest via the terminals, and will then be contacted by a Homes @ Supermarkets 4 representative who will arrange visits and viewings in the traditional way.

Gev Lynott , ASDA's Head of Financial Services said:

 "House prices have increased by 168 per cent over the last decade and it's not buyers or sellers but estate agents that have been the real winners. If you're looking to pick up a pad and not pay through the nose we reckon you'll think this of service is long overdue."

Posted in Press Centre on 10 July 2006
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The time honoured workplace tradition of the ‘carriage clock’ retirement gift has been consigned to history, according to a new survey. 

Research by Asda has shown that pocket watches, carriage clocks, and hip flasks for those retiring from the workplace are now a thing of the past with the adventurous, baby boomer generation taking a new approach to retirement. 

Asda's research revealed that the baby boomer generation isn’t opting for the quiet life of Sudoku and gardening as they edge towards retirement and they want a long service gift that reflects their changing needs. 

Fifity to sixty year olds are much more active than their predecessors and are more likely to cycle across France or go surfing on Bondi beach, than tend to herbaceous borders and do crosswords, so long service gifts are changing to reflect that.    

Modern day retirement gifts are less likely to involve jewellery or artefacts, and are much more based upon experience.  Those retiring in 2006 are more likely to receive air miles (10%), computer equipment (7%) or outwards bounds equipment (4%). 

Kirsty Leyland, Asda’s head of colleague relations said, “Society is changing and people are remaining active for longer.  Everyone’s worried about the pension gap but people can play a greater role in our economy well into their seventies and beyond. 

 

"More and more older workers are choosing to work, rather than feeling they have to because of financial pressures, often on a part time basis.” 

When Asda’s people retire, they can receive either cash or a gift worth up to £300, an ex gratia payment of up to eight weeks’ salary dependent on length of service, a bouquet of flowers and anyone that’s clocked up 20 years service, gets to keep their colleague discount card for life, saving 10 per cent on all their shopping.   

Many colleagues at Asda are reporting that they are using the money to fulfil dreams that were put on hold because of having children, such as travelling or buying property abroad. 

 

One sixty seven year old has even bought himself a Kawasaki 900 and is driving across Europe. 

But Asda also acknowledges that many of its army of older workers want to carry on working well beyond the traditional retirement age, so the company doesn’t wait until retirement to reward colleagues for their service and give them the chance to pursue a long- held ambition. 

 

Anyone who’s worked for Asda for 25 years is given an extra week’s holiday that year, £300 cash and a gift. 

The survey by Asda has also spotted that retirement itself is changing.  Seven out of ten people are actually looking forward to continuing working during retirement. 

 

Kirsty Leyland said, "It gives them that extra bit of money to do all the hobbies and outdoor pursuits that they want.  Working part time is the new retirement."
Posted in Press Centre on 11 July 2006
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British companies are getting wet, wet, wet by stockpiling vast amounts of drinking water as the country begins bracing itself for the hottest weather since records began.   

Supermarket giant ASDA has ordered an extra 2 million litres of drinking water this week - just for its 150,000 colleagues to drink during their shift!

The store is also anticipating a 50 per cent increase in sales of bottled water in its stores this week, with sales set to top the seven million litre mark, the equivalent of filling 19 25-metre swimming pools.

 

The heat is getting to ASDA’s customers who have gone on a spending spree with sales in key categories increasing dramatically, including BBQ sauces (+40%), wine (+35%), Ice Cream (+70%) and Beer (+40%). 

 

Kirsty Leyland, Asda’s head of colleague relations, said, “We want to make sure we’re looking after our people and helping them through this week’s heatwave by giving them a bit of additional flexibility. 

 

"If colleagues working in our in-store bakeries are feeling the heat, we’ll give them a break to get out of the kitchen, cool down and have a drink.” 

ASDA is offering colleagues extra ‘refreshment breaks’ where necessary to make sure they are drinking plenty of water and avoiding dehydration, especially those who work in hot bakery sections of stores.   

A number of stores also have shower facilities and colleagues are being encouraged to take a cold shower to cool off during their break or when their shift finishes, if they’re feeling the heat.   

One step ahead of the TUC’s ‘cool work’ campaign which was announced today, ASDA has, for some years now, operated a more relaxed ‘no jacket required’ approach to business dress for colleagues based at its head office in Leeds. 

 

Workers are able to loosen their top button and leave their jackets and ties at home, helping them to keep cool off as the weather hots up.  

 

Posted in Press Centre on 18 July 2006