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A number of people have contacted us through social media asking us about our advertising policy in the News of the World following the phone hacking allegations that emerged this week.

As we’ve explained in individual replies, we understand people’s concerns and reiterate that we have no plans to advertise in the News of the World.

In fact, contrary to some news reports we’re not a big spender on advertising in the News of the World – or indeed any Sunday paper. In this calendar year we have only spent around £34,000 on advertisements in the News of the World newspaper.

Posted in Press Centre on 07 July 2011
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Judith McKenna, Asda’s current finance director, is to take the reins as the retailer’s chief operating officer.

Judith, who joined Asda more than 15 years ago, has led Asda’s finance functions as chief financial officer since 2001.

As COO she will take on leadership of all Asda’s retail operations, including its stores, distribution network and IT systems.

She will take on the new role in September, following a planned extended summer break with her family.

In an announcement to colleagues today, Asda President and CEO Andy Clarke said "I am delighted that Judith McKenna is to become our chief operating officer.

“In the last year alone, her work leading the Netto acquisition and integration programme ‐ which is reinventing our retail future ‐ demonstrates that she’s the natural choice for this role.

“She also represents someone who lives Asda’s culture everyday. Her understanding of our business, her passion for people development, her down‐to‐earth style and ability to get things done, will all contribute to ensuring she is a great COO.”

Judith joined Asda from financial roles in the brewing and pub retailing industry – working with Allied Domecq and Carlsberg Tetley, after qualifying as a chartered accountant with KPMG in London. She is currently Chair of the CBI’s distributive trades panel.

Posted in Press Centre on 01 July 2011
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Supermarket sweeps the board at the country’s most prestigious cheese show

Asda has cemented its status as the premier cheese retailer in the country by being crowned the Retailer Champion at the International Cheese Awards, held at the Nantwich show. Judges from the cream of the cheese world tasted hundreds of offerings from all supermarkets and deemed Asda’s range to be by far the best.
The retailer took home 11 gold medals, followed by Morrisons, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose, then Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Tricia Sykes from Asda’s cheese team, who collected the trophy said of the news, “It’s a fantastic achievement to sweep the gold medal board so convincingly and take home the Retailer Champion trophy. It’s a testament to the work of our team here, alongside all our suppliers, that we have delivered the best quality cheese range to our customers over the past year. The results today speak for themselves – it’s a real a-cheesement!”

The awards add to Asda’s already impressive tally for 2011; so far this year, the supermarket has won 73 awards in total for its cheese.

The winning products read as below:

  • Extra Special Superior Reserve Vintage Cheddar
  • Extra Special Somerset Vintage Cheddar
  • Creamy Lancashire
  • Extra Special Long Clawson Creamy Blue Stilton
  • Chosen by You Cambozola
  • Extra Special Manchego
  • Extra Special Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Chosen by You Cheese Triangles
  • Austrian Smoked Cheese
  • Chosen by You Greek Style Yoghurt
  • Chosen by You Mango and Passionfruit Yoghurt
Posted in Press Centre on 27 July 2011
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  • Asda predicts blonde hair dye will shoot up by 50% as shoppers rush to recreate Cheryl’s new blonde look*

  • Celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton reveals his thoughts on Cheryl’s new locks and his hair-dying secrets*

With Cheryl Cole rocking the “blondes have more fun” look, it certainly won’t be long before women across the UK are inspired to follow suit. Her new blonde locks are set to cause a stir in Asda’s hair aisles; the supermarket giant is predicting sales of blonde hair dye will shoot up by 50% over the weekend, prompting it to stock up on the latest beauty must-have.

Asda reports sales of mahogany hair colour leapt up by 114% last year after Cheryl stepped out with deep red tresses and her latest dramatic change is set to see shoppers back at the hair aisle once more.

Lindsey Ford, Asda’s Category Planner, Health and Beauty, commented: “We know our shoppers get fashion and beauty inspiration from celebs and Cheryl is up there as one of the most influential stars. We reckon blonde hair dye will be at the top of our shoppers’ list this weekend. Look out for blonde bombshells galore filling our aisles!”

Celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton, commented: “When faced with adversity woman often dramatically change their appearance, enjoying a new fresh look and the reactions they undoubtedly get. My insiders tell me this daring makeover is all part of a soon to be launched marketing campaign with Cheryl as spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris colour range, similar to last year when Cheryl went plum.”

Does this look work for Cheryl? According to Andrew, there’s a blonde for every woman even if it’s only a couple of shades lighter than her natural colour. Many iconic women who are known for their blonde tresses are far from blonde naturally, including Beyoncé, Madonna and of course the iconic Monroe.

Hair can become stressed when it undergoes a dramatic colour change. So it’s best to opt for an intensive approach to hair care, such as the Andrew Barton SOS range of products exclusive to Asda, packed with nourishing Shea Protein to leave hair soft and shiny. Using the trio of Andrew Barton SOS shampoo, conditioner and deep conditioning mask will help keep dyed hair radiant and healthy.

Posted in Press Centre on 01 July 2011
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Sales of mead in Asda are up a spell-binding 87%

With Harry Potter fever in the air following the launch of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2, sales of mead are up 87% YOY as adults, enchanted by the film’s success, look to try this unusual tipple.

Mead, ofen known as ‘honeyed wine’, is the wizarding world’s drink of choice; from Rubeus Hagrid drinking the mulled version in The Three Broomsticks to Horace Slughorn’s enjoying the oak-matured Mead in part one of The Deathly Hallows. Whether Brits are holding Harry Potter-themed farewell parties, or just inspired to try this old-fashioned drink, mead is disappearing from Asda’s shelves as if by magic.

Terri Saunders from Asda’s local team says “The epic Harry Potter series not only appeals to children, but also our adult shoppers too, giving the age-old drink, mead, a new lease of life. Before hitting the big screens this drink was reasonably unknown, but older customers have been enchanted by Hagrid’s love for the tipple. Mead has a sweet honey taste and is a great alternative to wine for extra magical summer parties.”

Mead is an alcoholic drink made through the fermentation of honey and water giving it a distinctive, summery taste. It became popular in the great halls and palaces of Henry VIII’s England and is now bang on trend with a starring role in one of the country’s best loved films. Asda is selling a locally produced mead from Norfolk at just £3 a bottle.

Posted in Press Centre on 27 July 2011
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UK families were £9 a week worse off in June 2011 than they were a year ago

  • June saw a £9 a week fall in family spending power compared to the same month last year
  • Average UK household had £167 a week of discretionary income in June 2011, 5.1 per cent lower than a year earlier
    *Slight rise in average earnings growth, but still well below pre-recession levels

The latest Asda Income Tracker has revealed that family spending power fell by £9 per week in June 2011, leaving the average UK family with £167 in disposable income – 5.1 per cent down from this time last year.

Consumer price inflation fell in June from 4.5 per cent in May to 4.2 per cent, slightly easing the pressure on real household incomes with a falling in the price of discretionary items such as games, toys and hobbies. However, this is unlikely to signify the start of a downward trend, with the price of essential goods and services continuing to grow.

Whilst average earnings growth increased marginally in June, recruiting conditions remained constrained. The report notes that average earnings rose at an annual rate of 2.1 per cent in the three months to May however there was a notable fall in earnings growth of the public sector, possibly as a result of the pay freeze that came into effect in April.

Read more and download the full report
Posted in Press Centre on 20 July 2011