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  • Pudsey customers can now discover local musicians and bands as part of weekly shop

From Monday 22nd August, Asda Pudsey will begin a three month trial of local music in store with West Yorkshire music hub, Limetree Promotions.

Limetree are supplying five of their best artists CDs to the store so customers can sample the local music scene. Artists include up- tempo ‘Clifford Village Band’, soulful ‘Chunky Butt Funky’, experimental ‘The love of the brave’, acoustic singer songwriter, ‘Jasmine Kennedy’ and music arranging and producing ;Anthony David Jenson.’

Sean Birdsall, director of Limetree says: “With our community approach to music it made sense to partner with Asda so we can showcase the talents of local performers and musicians to Asda customers who might not get the opportunity to hear music from emerging local artists. It’s all about supporting your local music scene and why not do that while you do the weekly shop?”

Shoppers can expect to have their ears treated to some impromptu performances in store over the coming weeks.

Asda Pudsey Store manager Simon Gowler says: “It’s great to see some top quality local musicians in the store to not only brighten up the shopping experience, but offer support to the local community and the many talented people that contribute to it. We’re all very excited here at the store to help out the local music scene.”

The CDs are available to buy from the Music, Video and Games section from Monday 22nd August in Asda Pudsey and whether you’re already a supporter of the bands or they are unknown, you’ll be getting some of the best local music for your money.

Posted in Press Centre on 23 August 2011
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  • £14.5 million investment into conversion of Netto Stores
  • More than 250 jobs created across the region
  • York Layerthorpe to be Asda’s 100th ‘Supermarket’ – the name for its smaller stores

On Monday (22 August), Asda will open the doors to its 100th smaller format UK supermarket, here in York. The new supermarket in Layerthorpe is one of 66 stores that have been transformed from a Netto with a limited range of products, to an Asda Supermarket carrying everything shoppers need for a full weekly shop.

This latest milestone, three-and-a-half years ahead of plans revealed in early 2010, comes after Asda’s President and CEO, Andy Clarke, recently revealed Asda was to accelerate its plans. The retailer now aims to have 250 Asda Supermarkets open by 2015, complementing its existing superstores and supercentres.

The new store in Layerthorpe (York) is one of 10 other supermarkets which have already opened in the Yorkshire region with an additional three also due to open this week in Malton, Thurnscoe and Goldthorpe – a total investment of £7 million into the area and the creation of more than 160 jobs.

But the Yorkshire expansion programme is only halfway through. During the rest of 2011, Asda will also invest a further £8 million in the region with more conversions of Netto stores into Asda Supermarkets.

Karen Hubbard, Asda Supermarkets director, said: “Today marks a successful milestone for Asda as we open our 100th supermarket in York, right here in our heartland. Each Netto we’ve re-opened so far as an Asda has been a fantastic success – we have more shoppers, buying more items, served by more colleagues than before.

“And because of the smart way we’ve transformed the store, it’s powered by the same prices we have in all our other Asda stores, large or small.”

“Customers in York, Malton, Thurnscoe and Goldthorpe will now be able to do a full weekly shop, closer to home without compromising on price or quality.”

The new store will stock more than 10,000 grocery products, around four times the number of products previously sold at Netto.

Unlike rival retailers who operate smaller stores, all of the products sold in the new store will be available at the same low Asda prices you’d find in the supermarket’s other, larger outlets.

Customers can also take advantage of the Asda Price Guarantee, the supermarket’s promise to be 10 per cent cheaper than rival retailers.

Posted in Press Centre on 22 August 2011
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  • Worldwide buying power with Walmart enables Asda to offer its lowest ever price on a leading brand laptop with Intel dual core processor, 320GB hard drive and 3GB of RAM
  • Breakthrough deal on a Dell even beats the manufacturer’s same-specification model

Asda is today offering its lowest ever price for a leading brand laptop with an Intel dual core processor, a 320GB hard drive and 3GB of RAM.

The breakthrough price of £287 is available at 329 Asda stores today and online at

The model is manufactured by Dell, one of the world’s leading brands, and features advanced Intel components.

The Dell T4500 laptop features an Intel Pentium Dual Core T4500 2.30 GHZ processor, a 320 GB hard drive, 3GB RAM, a 15.6” Widescreen HD glossy WLED display with TrueLife TM and Intel integrated GMA 4500 MHD graphics.

Duncan Tate, laptop and computing expert at Asda, said: “We have teamed up with our Walmart colleagues to deliver this astounding deal on a branded laptop. The Dell is perfect for any user and the offer is perfectly timed for the back to school period. With Dell’s go-faster stripes, parents should expect quite a bit of pester power.”

Walmart sells more laptops than any other retailer in the world.

Asda has secured plenty of stock for the offer and the laptops will be displayed near to the in-store stationery range, which also features market-beating prices on many back-to-school items.

Duncan Tate added: “We’re determined as ever to lead on price across the board during the back to school period this year – on uniforms, stationery and technology – and we’re delighted to offer this amazing deal on a superb piece of Dell kit. The laptop is real head-turner and will make fellow students turn the colour of our logo when they see it.”

Asda has pledged to support Race Online, the drive to get all of Britain online by 2012. As part of its commitment, Asda is cutting the price of internet-ready devices, including laptops, netbooks, tablets and smartphones in-store and online.

Posted in Press Centre on 10 August 2011
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Price comparison on a basket of 20 stationery products shows that Asda is less than half the price of WH Smith

“WH Smith stationery prices are too stationary – they’re a rip-off and need to come down,” Asda says

Asda today launches an attack on the outrageous prices charged by WH Smith for back to school stationery essentials, including calculators, pens, pencils, flexible rulers, ringbinders, notebooks and pads.

A price comparison carried out this week by Asda reveals that on a basket of 20 like-for-like products, Asda came in more than 50% cheaper than WH Smith.

Looking at the most basic stationery item, the plain pencil with an eraser at the end, Asda are offering a 24-pack for £1 and WH Smith are offering a 9-pack for £1.41 – in other words less than half the amount for a 40% higher price – or three times the price pro-rata.

On pens, Asda offers a ten-pack of retractable ball point pens for 50p. WH Smith offer a 15-pack for £1.99. Pro-rata, a ten-pack of pens from W H Smith would be £1.33, more than two and half times the Asda price.

David Walker, stationery expert at Asda, said: "If the cost of buying a basket of essentials from the UK’s most famous stationers is double the price you’d pay at Asda, it’s very important that shoppers know that.

“It’s easy to spend upwards of £30 on back to school stationery even at Asda prices. The idea that it would cost you more than £60 for the same at WH Smith just makes no sense at all. You could pick up three complete school uniforms at Asda on the savings made!”

A 50p flexible ruler at Asda costs £2.19 at WH Smith. A 100-sheet A4 notebook costs £1.37 at Asda and a 120-sheet version costs £2.99 at WH Smith. Ten-packs of dividers are 45p at Asda. 20-packs of dividers costs an astonishing £2.49 at WH Smith.

Asda v WH Smith

It all adds up: A 24-pack of pencils with eraser on the end costs £1, making each pencil 4.2p, compared with 15.7p at WH Smith with its nine-pack for £1.41. Asda’s 10-pack of retractable ballpoint pens for 50p works out at 5p a pen; WH Smith’s 15-pack at £1.99 is 13p per pen.

Posted in Press Centre on 18 August 2011
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7,000 festive jobs part of £5million investment in Customer Service for Christmas

  • Roles will include shop floor, home delivery and customer service
  • Potential ‘Christmas Helpers’ can find out more online at
  • 750,000 hours overtime for existing Asda colleagues to earn extra cash for Christmas

On the day that Walmart will release its second quarter earnings (16 August 2011), Asda has offered an early Christmas present with the announcement that they will create 7,000 vacancies for the Festive period.

The roles, which will include opportunities for shop floor colleagues, home delivery and customer service are part of a £5 million investment in Customer Service for Christmas shoppers – further evidence of its commitment to delivering for customers during tough times and setting the pace in service, as well as price and quality.

Asda will be recruiting colleagues for a variety of roles across the shop floor, including specialist Service Hosts to provide a helping hand tracking down last minute gifts, as well as colleagues to provide advice on ‘hot’ gifts such as the latest gadgets and clothing trends.

Jobs will be available at Asda stores across the UK from September, and people can find out more online at Assessment centres will take place throughout the Autumn, with successful applicants starting their roles from November.

As well as additional roles in store, Asda will also be offering 750,000 hours overtime to existing colleagues, helping them earn extra cash for Christmas. Asda’s latest income tracker showed that families have on average £9 less each week disposable income compared to this time last year, largely due to increased fuel prices.

Andy Clarke, Asda CEO and President said: “Our customers love Christmas – and they want everything to be just right – that’s why we’re bringing in 7,000 extra pairs of hands to make sure it goes without a hitch. Extra help to our customers when they need it most and much needed job opportunities in our local communities. “

Whilst the majority of roles will be fixed term contracts, colleagues may be invited to join a ‘register of talent’ and invited to take on temporary positions during other busy periods.

Posted in Press Centre on 16 August 2011
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  • School uniform sales expected to up 35% at George at Asda this weekend
  • Two items of school wear will be sold every second
  • George at Asda’s ‘Click and Collect’ service already up 25% on this time last year
  • School uniform market is worth over £959 million

Sunday 28th August has been dubbed ‘Schoolwear Sunday’ by Asda as the UK’s largest school retailer (Asda is the UK’s largest school retailer by volume) predicts it will be the busiest day in the year for sales of school uniforms and back to school essentials.

In a survey by Asda 1 in 5 parents reveal they plan to shop for their kid’s school uniform this weekend; 74% of parents admit they need to buy at least some of their children’s school uniform, 25% still need to purchase all of it (Pulse of the Nation survey carried out 19th – 22nd August 2011). Orders on for school uniforms are already up 25% on this time last year, and figures are expected to rise by a further 15% this bank holiday weekend with more mums buying online and collecting in store, saving both time and money. In addition sales in-store are expected to be up by a massive 20% compared to this time last year and the supermarket is prepared for an extra 590,000 shoppers to enter the 390 stores selling school must-haves.

The retail giant predicts two items of school wear will be sold every second, with the most popular item – a packet of two polo shirts, costing just £2.50 – expected to be sold every two seconds on Sunday. And it’s not just uniforms; Asda is also expecting to sell almost a million pens, pencils, pencil cases and erasers. The school uniform market is currently worth over £959million and this is predicted to reach £1.14billion by 2015 (Mintel Schoolwear Retail Intelligence), with supermarkets owning a 40% share.

Sarah Payne, schoolwear buyer for George at Asda said: “We have seen a huge surge in our buy online and collect in-store service this week as it offers a quick and simple way for parents to buy their children’s uniforms. Some customers have told us they’re going to take advantage of the bank holiday weekend for their back to school shopping so we’re prepared for customer demand, and traditionally we see an increase in sales at this time of year.”

Asda also reveals price is the most important factor for mums and dads choosing their kid’s uniforms (43%), followed closely by quality (42%). Sarah Payne continues: “We know our customers want quality at affordable pricing and we are confident shoppers this weekend will find exactly what they need. In fact we are so confident in our products that we still have our George 100day quality guarantee in place on all of our garments, and we have the seal of approval from the Good Housekeeping Institute. We are the only retailer to offer such a generous returns policy, we’ve invested heavily in improving the quality and durability of our ranges. Should you need to bring something back simply return it within 100 days with proof of purchase and we’ll exchange it straight away or give you a full refund.”

Simon Jones, Money Expert, said: “More parents than ever are going online to find the best value items to help their children go back to school. Two services in particular can help ease this expensive and stressful time. Using a price comparison site gives parents confidence they are getting the very best value for money whilst using the Click and Collect services offered by stores, like ASDA, eases pressure as parents know that the products they want, in the colours and sizes they need, will be available when they arrive to collect them.”

Posted in Press Centre on 28 August 2011
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UK families were £11 a week worse off in July 2011 than they were this time last year

  • July saw a £11 a week fall in family spending power compared to the same month last year
  • Average UK household had £166 a week of discretionary income in July 2011, 6.4 per cent lower than a year earlier
  • Asda customers half filling petrol tanks to increase fuel efficiency

The latest Asda Income Tracker has revealed that family spending power fell by £11 a week in July 2011, leaving the average UK family with £166 in disposable income – 6.4 per cent down from this time last year.

Annual inflation on the consumer price index grew again to 4.4 per cent in July, up from 4.2 per cent in June – continuing to soar well above income growth and placing significant pressure on household spending power. Conditions in the labour market worsened this month and this is likely to continue into 2012 as public sector cuts start to take effect.

Family budgets are squeezed further by the rising costs of basics. Transport costs continue to be the biggest factor with the cost of getting around up to 16.5 per cent higher in July 2011 than it was year ago according to the AA. And it’s not just the cost of filling the car that’s rising, food prices continue to put pressure on the inflation rate too, still contributing a large amount to the headline rate despite annual food price inflation easing marginally in July.

Although average earnings increased marginally faster over the year to July, recruiting conditions remained constrained. Pay growth continues at a faster pace in the services sector, at 2.6 per cent over the period, than manufacturing at just 1.1 per cent.

Asda’s own research shows that customers are adapting to family budgets being squeezed from all sides. A survey conducted on the retailer’s Facebook page earlier this week indicated that customers were buying into own brand ranges, using to compile a list that fits within their budget and then taking it into stores to shop with; half-filling petrol tanks to avoid wasting money driving with a full tank and cutting their own hair instead of visiting the hairdressers.

In addition, as thousands of students receive their GCSE results this week, Asda has reported a dramatic increase in interest in its apprenticeship programme, with over 4,000 young people signing up to train for GCSE and A Level equivalent qualifications in the last three months.

The retailer also saw a 50 per cent year-on-year increase in new applications for apprenticeships, as young people look for alternate routes to training and development after leaving school.

Andy Clarke, Asda President and CEO, said: "The Income Tracker spells out how tough family finances are right now. The maths is simple – the rising cost of feeding the family, getting around and increasing unemployment add up to the biggest squeeze on families since before the last recession.

“We’re in a unique position to help kick start the economy. At Asda we’re tightening our belts, holding down the price of food and fuel and offering a future to the thousands of young people that shouldn’t be forced to choose between their desire to learn and need to earn.”

Charles Davis Managing Economist, Cebr comments: “Pressure on household finances continued to mount up in July as the cost of essential spending grows rapidly while wage increases remain slow. Price growth in transport, food, and alcohol & tobacco was strong over the year to July.

“The Asda Income Tracker shows that family spending power continues to fall from a year ago. With larger-than-usual rail fare increases allowed for next year and utility price rises set to come in over the coming months, the UK consumer still faces tough times ahead.”

You can download the full report here

Posted in Press Centre on 29 August 2011
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Asda’s CEO Andy Clarke and operations director Karen Hubbard gave an update to journalists at our South Harrow store in London today. The store is one of the 61 we have converted from a Netto to an Asda Supermarket – the smallest stores in the Asda family. You can read all about the Netto conversion programme here.

We’re almost halfway through the conversion process, opening eight stores a week, and by next Monday we’ll have 100 new stores in the Asda Supermarket division.

Here are the key points from this morning’s presentation.

  • Asda Supermarkets are meeting a new customer need – with up to four times as many products available in store, customers can do a full weekly shop in a smaller store, closer to home

  • And because we have been smart with our space, Asda offers one low price from 5k to 120k square feet and we know, because we’ve opened almost half of the Netto stores so far, that customers love it

  • By next Monday we’ll have 100 stores in our Asda Supermarkets division – and we’d like to have 250 supermarkets by 2015

  • We’re accelerating our plans for Supermarkets because it’s the right time – more than ever, shoppers want to pick and choose where they shop, without compromising on price or range

  • We believe this is on course to be one of the most successful retail integrations for some time

Andy Clarke also announced our latest petrol price reduction at the briefing – from tomorrow we’re cutting the price of petrol and diesel by a further 2p a litre, bringing our national price down to 130.7p for unleaded and 134.7p for diesel.

You can download a copy of the slides Andy and Karen presented here.

And if you have a few minutes watch the video below which gives a brief history of how grocery retail has changed since the 1960s and how our new stores offer customers something different.

To find your nearest Asda Supermarket and to keep up to date with our rollout check our Netto conversion update

Posted in Press Centre on 15 August 2011
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Today [Thursday 18th August 2011] Sainsbury’s has been trying to convince people to fill up at their petrol forecourts by giving out vouchers for money off fuel … but only if you also buy a certain amount of groceries from them.

Asda knows its money-savvy customers aren’t taken in by gimmicks like this. They can do the maths themselves and work out that even with offers of “12p off a litre of petrol if you spend £60 in store” it’s still likely to be more expensive than shopping and filling up at Asda.

The reason’s simple. Independent surveys consistently find Asda has the lowest fuel prices across the UK – and shoppers can rely on the Asda Price Guarantee to be sure their shopping will be 10% cheaper on comparable groceries or get the difference back.

In contrast Sainsbury’s is selecting just some of their favourite customers and sending them a 12p a litre money-off petrol voucher through the post. And the table below shows how even if Sainsbury’s send you a voucher it doesn’t add up to savings compared with Asda on a typical £60 shop and filling up a 50-litre tank of unleaded.

Grocery and fuel prices

People don’t really need to do the sums to work out that tying in petrol price offers to doing a big supermarket shop is just a gimmick. Asda believes in giving its customers the lowest prices possible whatever they’re buying, however much they’re spending, and wherever they’re shopping or filling up.

Asda leads the way in bringing down petrol prices whenever it can – and unlike other retailers Asda doesn’t pump up prices if it can get it away with it in certain parts of the country

A survey by The Sun newspaper recently found that other retailers charge their customers more – as much as 6p a litre more – in parts of the country where there’s not an Asda nearby.

And unlike competitors when Asda announces a new petrol price it tells its customers the maximum price they’ll pay across the UK. Other retailers say they’ve taken 1p or 2p off a litre but are careful not to tell their customers the maximum price they’re actually charging.

Posted in Press Centre on 18 August 2011