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Customers at WH Smith continue to pay inflated prices for stationery despite WH Smith going on “sale” according to Asda’s analysis.

Two weeks ago, Asda set out to teach WH Smith a maths lesson on stationery prices. On a basket of products WH Smith was then twice as expensive as Asda.

Today, with last-minute back-to-school shopping in full swing, WH Smith, despite introducing a sale across many stationery items, is still over twice the price of Asda on a basket of 10 essential stationery products.

David Walker, stationery expert at Asda, said: "We are amazed at the difference in price between our back-to-school essentials and those offered by others, even when theirs are on so-called “sale.” With household budgets under intense pressure it is essential that shoppers are able to buy affordable supplies for the children before they head back to school."

Product Asda WH Smith
Calculator £5.00 £7.99
Pencils (24 pack with eraser) £1.00 £3.76
Highlighters (4 pack) £1.00 £1.49
Ring binder A4 £0.60 £1.09
Refill pad A4 (150 lined sheets) £1.50 £1.79
Punch pockets (100 pack A4) £1.50 £5.08
Hole puncher £1.00 £1.49
A4 lever arch file £1.00 £2.29
Button wallets (5 pack) £1.00 £2.99
Dividers (10 pack) £0.45 £2.49
Total £14.05 £30.46

Where direct comparisons were not available, Asda used pro-rata figures based on multipacks.

Posted in Press Centre on 02 September 2011
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Allergen: Sulphites

Product: ASDA Chosen By You Coronation Coleslaw, 280g

Risk: The above product has been packaged with an incorrect lid (Potato & Bacon Salad). This makes the product a potential health risk for people who are sensitive to sulphites.

Product Identification:

Product: ASDA Chosen By You Coronation Coleslaw, 280g

Use by Date: 29 Sept

Action taken by the Company:
ASDA has recalled the affected date code and has contacted the relevant allergy support organisations, which will inform their at-risk members of the recall. Notices have been displayed in all stores to alert consumers to the reasons for the recall and the actions they can take if they have purchased the product. A copy of the POS notice issued by ASDA is attached to this Allergy Alert.

No other ASDA products are known to be affected.

Advice to consumers:
Customers with a sensitivity to sulphites are advised not to eat this product.

Information on the Agency’s work on food allergy and intolerance can be found at: Advice on food allergy and intolerance can be found at:


Food Standards Agency, Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6NH

Posted in Press Centre on 26 September 2011
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  • Asda President and CEO Andy Clarke announces new executive appointments

  • Karen Hubbard and Ellie Doohan to join Asda’s executive team

Asda President and CEO Andy Clarke today announced two new appointments to the retailer’s executive team.

In a note to colleagues Andy confirmed that Ellie Doohan, Asda’s general counsel, is to join the retailer’s leadership team and Karen Hubbard, currently operations director for Asda’s Supermarkets division, will take on a new role as executive director of store proposition.

Ellie has been Asda’s general counsel and company secretary for the past four years. She is also chair of International Produce Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart responsible for sourcing fresh produce for Asda and other Walmart operations overseas.

Karen joined Asda in 2009 and has led the retailer’s move to create a sizable division of smaller Asda stores which will number around 180 by the end of 2011. Karen has also led the transformation of Netto’s UK stores into Asda Supermarkets – a programme which will complete on 14th November.

On Karen and Ellie’s appointment, Andy said: “Any successful business needs to combine the right blend of skills and experience and these changes will put us in an even stronger position to realise our strategic business goals and fulfil the simple customer ambition we set for ourselves ‐ to save people money every day.”

Posted in Press Centre on 09 September 2011
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130.7ppl for unleaded at 135.7ppl for diesel

Asda today (Tuesday 27th September) has given drivers another welcome boost by quickly passing on the drop in wholesale prices from the Middle East, to Middle England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

From this morning Asda will cut prices by up to two pence per litre across the UK, meaning drivers filling up at Asda will not pay more than its new cap at 130.7 pence per litre for unleaded and 135.7 pence per litre for diesel at any of its 188 filling stations nationwide.

Andy Peake, Asda’s Petrol Trading Director, said: “We know the price of petrol matters to our customers which is why we aim to be the first to pass on cuts in the cost of crude – that’s again what we’re doing today. We’re still the only fuel retailer to have a national price cap for our petrol and diesel and continue to urge others to follow our lead. That would deliver fairer prices across the whole of the UK – not just in places where there’s an Asda to keep prices down.”

Asda remains the only fuel retailer to have a national fuel price cap and continues to urge others to follow its lead, delivering fairer prices across the whole of the UK and not just in places where an Asda keeps prices down.

That clear policy is what lies behind the AA’s findings that towns with an Asda are likely to have the lowest petrol prices – and means Asda fuel stations has the smallest spread between lowest and highest prices, of any major petrol retailer.

Yesterday (Monday 26th September) Asda opened its first store in Cheltenham (Gloucestershire) which boasts a petrol filling station. Rival retailers in the town have been charging drivers up to 7ppl more for fuel before Asda arrived.

Posted in Press Centre on 27 September 2011
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UK families £14 a week worse off in August 2011 than in 2010

  • August saw a £14 a week fall in family spending power compared to the same month last year
  • Average UK household had £162 a week of discretionary income in July 2011, 7.9 per cent lower than a year earlier
  • Nine in ten (90 per cent) of people say things are tougher now than they were this time last year
  • Asda customers say utilities and fuel costs are the biggest pressure on family disposable income
  • Asda drops price of fuel by up to 2ppl from today

The latest Asda Income Tracker has revealed that family spending power fell by £14 a week in August 2011 – the biggest ever decline since records began in January 2007. The squeeze left the average UK family with £162 of weekly disposable income – 7.9 per cent down from this time last year.

Annual inflation on the consumer price index grew again to 4.5 per cent in August, up from 4.4 per cent in July – 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. Rising gas and electricity prices -following announcements from major utility suppliers – have started to feed through into the overall rate of inflation. In August, electricity prices were some 5.1 per cent higher than a year ago, while gas prices were 8.3 per cent higher.

Read more and download the full report
Posted in Press Centre on 27 September 2011
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  • Cornish Camembert outsells its French counterpart in Asda
  • English goat’s cheese sales have risen 163% in the last 12 months
  • Stilton overtakes Roquefort as Asda’s top selling blue cheese

As British Cheese Week celebrations kick-off, Asda reveals the nation has a new found taste for British cheeses, now outselling its foreign cousins by a whopping 142%.

English goat’s cheese sales are up 163% on this time last year and Cornish Camembert and Stilton sales are now outstripping French Camembert and Roquefort; it seems Brits are really starting to pay homage to our home-grown fromage. With France being one of the most popular destinations for holidaying Brits, the supermarket giant has seen a growing number of shoppers seeking out British equivalents of their favourite cheeses on their return to Blighty.

Asda has seen the following British beauties take a bite out of sales of European rivals:

  • Cornish Camembert sales have risen a whopping 132% in the last 12 months, compared to French Camembert at 14%
  • English goat’s cheese sales have risen 163% in the last 12 months, compared to French goat’s cheese at 12%
  • Stilton sales have risen 124% in the last 12 months, compared to Roquefort at 9%

Anna Patrick, Customer Planning Manager, from Asda’s cheese team says: “We have seen a real surge in popularity for British cheese in the last two years with Cornish Camembert and English goat’s cheese becoming two of the most asked for cheeses by our customers. While French cheese has that certain je ne sais quoi, Brits know they can get cheese that tastes just as good, and made much closer to home – let’s hope the French aren’t too cheesed off with our success!”

Posted in Press Centre on 28 September 2011
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On 1 October 2011 the Welsh Assembly Government will introduce a 5p minimum charge on all carrier bags used in Wales. This will cover all retailers and products including; food, clothing and items for the home.

Asda will be complying with the new law by introducing a 5p charge on our single use carrier bags. Customers will be charged for the bags they need at the checkout in store.

We know our customers want to do the right thing when it comes to protecting their environment, which is why we offer a ‘Bag for Life’ for just 6p. This bag can be used over again – and if it becomes damaged or unusable, we’ll replace it for free.

Where will the money go?

All money from the charge (after VAT) will be donated to local charities that have been selected by your colleagues in store. That means that by reusing your bags, you will be doing your bit to protect the environment, but, if you do need a bag, you can be comfortable that the money is going to good causes in your area.

What about Home Shopping?

The new charge does apply to home shopping deliveries. We are offering customers the option to have their shopping delivered ‘bagless’, which means our delivery drivers will bring your shopping to your door in plastic crates free of charge. Alternatively, you can opt for a flat charge to be added to your shopping order to cover the charge.

Posted in Press Centre on 28 September 2011
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  • £7 flu jabs available at all Asda pharmacies – 40% cheaper than some competitors
  • Asda stocks up with 100,000 vaccines in readiness for winter
  • Flu jab available for 16 year olds at Asda for first time

This year Asda is helping the nation to combat the flu virus by offering their jabs for £7, the lowest price on the market. What’s more it has quadrupled its supply of vaccinations available to shoppers from 25,000 in 2010 to 100,000 for 2011.

From 1st October, customers can receive their injection from any of the supermarket’s 211 pharmacies. Pharmacy colleagues have been fully trained to give the jab, so there is less waiting around for a nurse to see you and the entire process is complete in a matter of minutes. For the convenience of its customers, many of Asda’s pharmacies are now open until 11pm offering the perfect solution for those with busy lives.

Commented John Evans, Superintendent Pharmacist at Asda: “This year we’re armed with an unbeatable price, large stocks and are ready to fight the flu. We want to ensure our shoppers don’t have to queue for hours on end to be vaccinated and so have made sure that more people than ever before – 350 trained pharmacists in total – can administer the jab. We realise that our customers are very busy people and now they can come to any one of our pharmacies at their own convenience to protect themselves from winter’s worst enemy.”

This year, Asda is broadening its offer and including pregnant women and the over-16s in those groups who are eligible to have their jab in-store. Formerly only offered to the over-18s, giving the jab to the younger teenagers will help protect even more vulnerable individuals from the dreaded flu.

Cost Comparison:

Name of Retailer Cost of Vaccine
Asda £7
Superdrug £7.95
Sainsbury’s £8
Tesco £10
Lloyds £10
Boots £12.99

The vaccination uses the latest strength as dictated by the World Health organisation, ensuring it covers the most prevalent strains of flu this year. The jab is available from the 1st October.

To find your nearest Asda Pharmacy, visit the store locator at

Posted in Press Centre on 30 September 2011
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  • Keren Long honoured at 2011 Everywoman in Retail Awards

Keren Long, Bangladesh Sourcing General Manager for George at Asda, was named Innovator of the Year at last night’s Everywoman in Retail Awards in London.

The awards, now in their fourth year, celebrate the achievements of women working in the retail sector and showcase the broad range of career opportunities that retail can offer women.

As winner of the Innovator of the Year Award, Keren was recognised for her achievements establishing George at Asda’s sourcing operation in Bangladesh.

Keren Long

Keren moved to Bangladesh in 2010 and together with her team established a sourcing office for George, employing 34 people. By working directly alongside the factories producing clothing, George has been able to raise productivity, improve efficiency and ensure the quality and ethical standards of its products are maintained.

Keren was also commended by the judges for her extensive community work in Bangladesh where George helped set up the Jamgara HOPE school in Ashula, providing education to under-privileged children.

Andrew Moore, Managing Director of George, comments: “With a series of ground-breaking achievements and an innovative approach to business, Keren completely embodies Asda’s culture and the opportunity our colleagues have to make a real difference to our business. Her commitment to making our operations as efficient as possible has helped to ensure the quality of our products, whilst her passion for working in local communities has helped improve the lives of hundreds of people in Bangladesh.”

On her win, Keren said: “I’m really honoured to have won this award, which stands as a testament to the great work of my team. Working at George has taken me on a journey – one that I certainly couldn’t have imagined when I started out. Our culture encourages a drive and a vision, and instils in all of us an incredible belief and motivation to go beyond the tried and tested and to break new ground.”

The Everywoman in Retail Awards were hosted in association with Specsavers and took place at The Savoy, London. Asda also sponsored the Award for Entrepreneur of the Year, which was won by Ann-Maree Morrison, Director, Labels4Kids Limited.

For more information on the awards visit:

Posted in Press Centre on 19 September 2011
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  • To help shoppers manage the risk, Asda offers cut-price instant in-store prints in kiosks

  • Asda also launches in-store Facebook photo printing service

With digital cameras and smart phones in such widespread usage, trillions of photos are now solely stored in digital form in Britain alone, according to Asda estimates. The first decade of the 21st century is the most recorded in human history but fewer than ever images of it appear in physical form.

Asda has seen a dramatic reduction in sales of traditional photo albums in the last five years, confirming the decline of photographic printing as consumers move away from film to digital photography.

Jeremy Stacey, Asda’s photo buyer said: “Since film cameras entered the dustbin of history most of us haven’t been making physical copies of the pictures that we take. In some situations, this might be OK, but if people aren’t backing up their hard drives, there’s a real risk that precious memories could be lost forever.”

An online poll of Asda customers points to a steep reduction in the number of prints of photos made in the last five years, with more than 70 percent saying that they have printed no photos whatsoever in the last five years. Shoppers cite the cost as the major factor for this decline.

Ninety-five percent of those polled store their photographs on a home computer but only a few said that they save their photographs to multiple locations, leaving themselves potentially exposed to data loss.

Part of the allure is the plummeting cost of memory. An 8GB memory stick at Asda now costs just £10.

To combat the risk to our photographic heritage Asda is slashing the cost of instant in-store photo prints by nearly a third to coincide with the end of the summer holidays from 35p per print to 25p. Printing in-store is substantially cheaper than printing on a colour printer at home. The in-store service is compatible with all main memory card formats to make the process as simple as possible.

Jeremy Stacey added: “Those moments that people saved hundreds and even thousands of pounds to experience on holiday were often captured on camera and 25p is a worthwhile investment to keep that memory safe.”

Asda is also expanding its photo print service with Facebook. The social media site already stores more than 100 billion images. The service is already used by thousands of customers and some place orders for up to 3,000 prints. The Asda Facebook service is the fastest growing part of Asda’s photo business, with some customers regularly placing orders for 1,000 prints or more. Customers can now print pictures from Facebook via Asda’s in-store photo booths.

The Facebook printing service is also popular with schools, which print thousands of photos as part of the process of keeping records of children’s development. The service is substantially cheaper than contract photography services.

Posted in Press Centre on 02 September 2011