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Confirms transaction will create around 1,000 jobs across England and Wales

  • All Asda smaller stores to be called “Asda Supermarket” with division of 26 smaller stores set to grow to over 170 in 2011.

  • Asda confirms all acquired UK Netto stores will trade under an Asda fascia by late summer 2011 as planned.

  • Agreement still subject to final regulatory approvals


Asda today acknowledged the Office of Fair Trading’s announcement that it is minded to clear its agreement with Dansk Supermarked A/S to purchase its fully‐owned subsidiary Netto Foodstores Limited, subject to Asda complying with certain conditions.

The OFT’s announcement, paves the way for Asda to finalise its agreement with Dansk with a requirement that Asda agrees to sell 47 Netto stores, which is at the high end of its expectations. Asda is confident that it can meet these obligations and expects to complete the conversion of the Netto stores by late summer 2011 as planned.

When the deal completes, the key elements of the plan to transform Netto’s UK stores will be to give customers access to a significantly expanded range of products at the same low Asda prices available at its other stores.

Read full press release
Posted in Press Centre on 23 September 2010
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  • New ‘Chosen By You’ range with annual sales of £8-£9bn is largest, single, own brand relaunch in UK retailing history
  • £100m invested by retailer benchmarking, testing and reformulating products to improve quality
  • 3,500 individual products independently tested by Cambridge Market Research in just nine months
  • 40,000 consumers take part in 200,000 blind taste tests across the UK
  • Latest move part of concerted drive to improve product quality, at no extra cost to customers


Asda today (Tuesday 21st September) relaunched its entire range of more than 3,500 Asda brand food products – Chosen By You – which accounts for annual sales of between £8-9bn.

The move follows an intense nine month period of quality benchmarking and independent taste-testing. More than 40,000 people up and down the UK have taken part in secret events in church halls and community centres in 45 different locations from Kirkcaldy to Weston-Super-Mare, Londonderry to Canterbury, and Neath to Dereham (Norfolk).

The scale of the supermarket’s own brand relaunch is unprecedented in UK retailing. So far, Asda has invested more than £100m in a concerted drive to improve product quality across the store, without impacting prices for customers.

Andy Clarke, Asda president and CEO said: “When it comes to our food, we’ve taken a long, hard look at our products, done a lot of listening to our customers, and invested a significant amount of time, effort and money.”

“No other retailer has moved so aggressively to seek not just the counsel, but the consent of the very people who buy and eat their products.”

“Today we’ve reached a key milestone in our efforts. We’re re-launching our core Asda brand – ‘Chosen By You’. We’re sending a clear message that Asda will now drive as hard on quality as it does on price.”

Despite improvements in quality, the Asda Chosen By You range will continue to be up to 20 per cent cheaper than the equivalent leading brand – offering unbeatable value to shoppers.

Paul Beresford, managing director at Cambridge Market Research, oversaw the Chosen By You independent product testing process. He said: “The scale of Asda’s product testing programme is unprecedented in my experience, and as such has been a logistical challenge at times.”

“At one point my team were testing nearly 500 products in a single week, but Asda was determined to make it happen and has given us all the support necessary in terms of resource and financial investment.”

“The results of their ongoing drive for quality were very evident in this research, with consistently good ratings across the product ranges and up and down the country. I was particularly impressed that they took on board the not inconsiderable cost of collecting product from their suppliers having asked them to guarantee that only standard product would be used for testing.”

Each Chosen By You product was tested by a minimum of 50 consumers in a single location. They all agreed that they were current buyers of the product type in question and didn’t reject the particular flavour to be tried. The sample profile included dieters, meat reducers, and those who were wheat intolerant etc. as required. With all children’s products tested in small groups of kid’s aged 7-14.

The test was conducted ‘blind’, i.e. without any packaging or branding shown, and products were prepared as instructed on pack and served on their own, or with a simple accompaniment i.e. a buttery spread with bread, or pasta sauces were all tasted with the same base pasta as appropriate.

Products that required more time to prepare and cook such as casserole sauces were tested in home, with ingredients like herbs and spices placed in-home for consumers to try and use in their own way.

The Chosen By You range is made up of more than 3,500 own brand food products, 500 of which are entirely new and another 1,000 of which have been reformulated. Together they account for between £8-9bn worth of annual sales – so not only is this the most significant food development at Asda – it is the single largest own label re-launch ever in UK retailing history.

Andy Clarke added: “We have made customers an integral part of our business and our business planning. And by doing so, we are giving them a real say in an important part of their everyday lives.”

“We’re empowering our customers in a way that no U.K. retailer ever has. From today ‘our’ own brand becomes ‘your’ own brand.”

Posted in Press Centre on 21 September 2010
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Pressures on the cost of living lead to another fall in family spending power.

  • £5 a week decline in family spending power relative to the same month in 2009
  • 2.9 per cent year on year decrease in discretionary income of average UK household
  • The rate of consumer price inflation remained elevated and unchanged at 3.1 per cent
  • The cost of spending on essential goods and services increased by 3.4 per cent year on year in August


There was a year-on-year decline in the Asda Income Tracker of 2.9 per cent in August 2010. This equates to £5 per week decrease in family spending power compared with the same month in 2009. This is the eighth consecutive month that family spending power has fallen.

The average family had £175 per week to spend in August, down from £180 this time last year. The cost of living continued to rise at an elevated pace of 3.1 per cent. At this rate, inflation was still above the upper bound of the Bank of England’s target range and marked the seventh month this year in which this has been the case. Regular pay growth remained weak, increasing by 1.8 per cent in the three months to July year-on-year. This is down from annual growth of around 4.0 per cent before the recession. The Russian grain export ban combined with floods in China and Pakistan meant that food and clothing prices have steadily risen.

The key factors putting downward pressure on family spending power included transport; although inflationary pressure from transport costs diminished, they still contributed 1.2 percentage points to the headline rate of inflation. As a result the transport category remains by far the largest single contributor to the annual rate of inflation. Food and non-alcoholic drinks contributed 0.5 percentage points to the overall inflation rate. Clothing and footwear was again the only broad area of spending which saw a year on year decline, it fell by 1.7 per cent. This is, however, down from 3.1 per cent annual decrease recorded last month.

Posted in Press Centre on 22 September 2010
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  • George at Asda partners with leading designer and CEO of BCBGMAXAZRIA to create exclusive Miley Cyrus inspired range.
  • Second designer collaboration of the year creating more choice for customers.
  • Launches in store this week starting from £6.


Launching this week, George at Asda is delighted to announce its second designer collaboration of the year with Max Azria designer and CEO of world famous fashion house BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP Inc and best selling artist Miley Cyrus. The exclusive clothing line for George is a first in the UK and will include casual on trend tops, trousers, t-shirts, shoes and accessories starting from £6 in sizes S to XL in tops and 1-11 American sized jeans and shorts, designed specifically for the young adult market.

Max Azria is the second designer collaboration the store has launched this year and follows the announcement of the exclusive Charlie Allen for George tailoring collection. The BCBGMAZAZRIA brand is over 20 years old and the store is looking to bring a slice of high end fashion to the high street with a rock n roll edge through Miley.

The range is expected to fly off the shelves in the UK and with her X Factor guest appearance scheduled in the next couple of weeks, Asda is prepared for the demand.

George brand director Fiona Lambert says "We are absolutely thrilled to be launching our latest designer collaboration with leading fashion designer Max Azria and Miley Cyrus.

We have thousands of Miley fans amongst our customers and we have had a great number of requests for designer wear at supermarket prices, the collection will give our customers access to high end fashion without breaking the bank"

“Miley Cyrus is talented and approachable, so working with her sparked a line that is authentic and vibrant,” said Max Azria, designer and CEO of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, Inc. “By partnering with Walmart we saw an opportunity to reach mainstream customers with our product and introduce our designs to a much broader audience.”

Miley Cyrus commented “I love creating looks that are all about personal expression and individuality. Collaborating with Max Azria has been amazing experience and I’m really excited about launching this line with Walmart.”

The collection will launch nationwide in 273 stores and online from 6th September. The collection is also be available on www.george.com

Posted in Press Centre on 06 September 2010
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Product Recall: George Baby Denim Dungaree




Price: £8.00

Barcodes:

5052341393216
5052341393230
5052341393186
5052341393223
5052341393247
5052341393254
5052341393193

Date code: All date codes

Indent no: 1601?0517?019

What’s happened

We’ve been alerted there’s a problem with our baby denim dungarees and that the stopper on the clasp comes off too easily.

As the care and safety of our customers is a priority, we have withdrawn all sizes of the product and are recalling the dungarees as a precautionary measure. No other items in our ranges are affected. It goes without saying we’re sorry for the inconvenience caused.

What you should do

If you have purchased this item, please bring it back to Asda and we will give you a full refund. No other products are affected by this recall.

If you would like any further information please contact Asda Customer Relations on 0500 100 055.

Posted in Press Centre on 17 September 2010
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Brits are throwing away almost 50 million litres of wine a year* which in monetary terms equates to a massive £470 million*. The staggering figures are a result of a huge amount of wine being poured down the sink due, in part, to Brits not knowing how long it stays fresh in open bottles and too much wine being served at a time.

In a step towards curbing the amount of perfectly good wine being discarded, Asda has launched its newly packaged range of wine cubes with the liquid being resourced from top quality, award winning producers. Boxed wine allows the liquid to stay fresh for up to four weeks after opening, in comparison with bottles where wine generally stays drinkable for a matter of days. In a bid to dispel the old fashioned and slightly downmarket stigma attached to boxed wine, Asda has launched the contemporary, vibrant packaging in order to attract a new generation to the product, and ensure it is a must have kitchen accessory.

Andrew Parry, Household Food Waste Prevention Programme Manager at WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) says that “more than £12 billion worth of food and drink is thrown away every year in the UK, including more than £400 million worth of wine. WRAP welcomes the introduction of Asda’s new Wine Cube, which will allow customers the choice of buying wine in a format that will last longer after opening, giving them the opportunity to consume the product rather than having to throw it away”.

Philippa Carr, Master of Wine at Asda says, “The fact the wine is vacuum packed ensures it stays fresh for four weeks after the box has been opened. This means customers can open up one of our Wine Cubes safe in the knowledge that it will stay fresh for a month. A lot of wine is needlessly thrown away in this country as customers are often not sure how long wine stays fresh for. Our repackaged wine cubes are a step towards encouraging Brits to curb wine wastage.”

Asda’s range of repackaged Wine Cubes includes Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, Italian Pinot Grigio, Italian Soave, Australian Chardonnay, Californian Zinfandel Rosé, Australian Shiraz, Spanish Cabernet Sauvignon and Spanish Merlot.

* Waste and Resources Action Programme, Down the Drain (WRAP Project EVA063). Report prepared by WRAP, Banbury.

The re-design has also been undertaken to ensure customers are more easily able to distinguish between the varietals on offer.

Posted in Press Centre on 02 September 2010
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In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2010, Asda has designed an exclusive range of products, including clothing and accessories for its Tickled Pink Campaign providing the perfect gifts for the home and all the family, whilst raising money for two leading breast cancer charities.

The limited edition, pink themed collection is available exclusively at Asda, both online and in store from September 2010.
Head of ‘Asda in the Community,’ Fiona Campbell Reilly says “We’re thrilled to have reached our 14th year of Tickled Pink in association with Breast Cancer Campaign and Breast Cancer Care. Our aim is to raise a total of £3 million through the sale of limited edition Tickled Pink Products as well as fundraising which will be distributed to the charities. Breast Cancer Care provides expert information and professional support for people with breast cancer and their families; and Breast Cancer Campaign helps fund research into fighting the disease.”

The exclusive Tickled Pink range from Asda is a great way for customers to support the campaign and raise the vital funds needed to continue funding breast cancer research, and providing information and support to people affected by breast cancer in the UK.

Download the full press release and see the exclusive range

Posted in Press Centre on 13 September 2010