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ASDA is getting into the festive spirit and investing £10 million in a seasonal ‘thank you’ package for every one of its 158,000 colleagues working in its 313 stores and 24 depots across the UK.   

As the supermarket gears up for its busiest trading weeks of the year, the move is designed to thank colleagues for their hard work and support throughout the year which has seen ASDA welcome more than a million new customers through its doors, open more than 30 new stores around the UK and take more than 7,000 new colleagues on board. 

The supermarket is investing in giving every colleague, including the supermarket’s Seasonal Squad workers – a 10,000-strong group of permanent temps who work for the retailer for ten weeks each year during the holiday seasons – a £20 Christmas gift card to spend in its stores, £5 towards a Christmas party and a free festive meal.   

Colleagues will also get a whopping 20 per cent discount – double their normal 10 per cent saving – off a whole host of products in a special discount bonanza as part of its seasonal ‘thank you’*. 

Included in this ASDA Christmas savings spree are traditional top-sellers such as beer, wine and spirits, gifts, toys, jewellery, fragrances and George clothing.   

All permanent colleagues will also be given an extra day’s paid holiday to either take before Christmas to help them get their Christmas shopping done or to give them the chance to put their feet up once the festivities are over. 

David Smith, ASDA’s people director said: “Nobody does more to reward the hard work of its colleagues than ASDA – it’s part of what makes us special, and that’s not only at Christmas.   

“We’ll be saving our colleagues millions of pounds off their Christmas shopping lists by doubling their normal discount and even giving them an extra day’s paid holiday to help get their shopping done. 

"If that’s not a Christmas cracker I don't know what is!”

Posted in Press Centre on 30 November 2006
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Supermarket giant ASDA is on track for every one of its stores to save the equivalent of 62 households’ annual energy consumption by the end of the year, having invested £12 million in projects designed to save energy in its 313 stores across the UK. 

The total energy saved year on year will be equivalent to more than 80 million kWh, the annual amount of energy used to power towns the size of Dartford, Hereford or Widnes*, saving more than 34,000 tonnes of carbon. 

This record energy saving will be achieved despite ASDA opening more than 700,000 sq ft of new retail space this year, and the UK experiencing soaring temperatures over the last twelve months, which traditionally pushes energy consumption up for stores’ air conditioning and refrigeration systems. 

This is the first time the supermarket has seen its energy consumption drop year on year and the amount of energy saved will slash 10 per cent off the company’s energy consumption forecast for this year.   

Raising awareness amongst its 150,000 colleagues of how energy can be saved has been key to ASDA’s success and the supermarket has developed the role of an “Energy Guru” in every one of its stores to help hit its ambitious target. 

 

They are tasked with evaluating every plug socket, light bulb and power supply to make sure it is being put to the most energy efficient use. 

The Energy Gurus report into ASDA’s divisional energy managers, part of the supermarket’s dedicated energy team that is responsible for raising energy awareness, identifying & implementing energy saving projects, monitoring store energy usage and carrying out in-store energy surveys.  

They are also responsible for ensuring that car park lighting is not left on when the store is closed, that all lights are switched off where necessary, bakery equipment is not being turned on unnecessarily, cold room doors are kept closed and all fans, heating and air conditioning are turned off when not in use. 

Archie MacDougall, ASDA’s head of energy, said: “Here at ASDA, we’re committed to managing our impact on climate change and it also makes sound business sense to reduce our energy costs.  

“All our colleagues can make a real difference and by doing a few simple things, like switching off lighting that isn’t needed or turning off a dripping tap, the energy we can save across our store network is huge and the effect it’ll have on reducing our impact on climate change is considerable.” 

Richard Bawden, Trade Partnerships Manager at the Energy Saving Trust comments: “We’re very pleased that ASDA are taking this initiative and thinking about the environment. They are setting a good example not only to other businesses but also to their customers and communities.  

“Almost half of the carbon dioxide emissions – one of the greenhouse gases causing climate change – come from things we all do everyday in our own homes.

 

"Things like leaving the TV on standby, or using the car for short journeys, all waste energy, money and result in needless carbon dioxide emissions.  

“If we all commit to saving 20% of the energy we use everyday, together we can help the environment and help prevent climate change.

 

"So why not follow ASDA’s example and become an Energy guru in your own home – making sure your family is doing simple energy saving measures such as turning appliances off standby and switching lights off when leaving the room?”

 

This is just one of 900 store projects that ASDA is currently undertaking to improve energy efficiency, including the installation of new movement-sensitive lighting systems and centrally controlled heating and air conditioning systems which will save millions of units of energy. 

 

Posted in Press Centre on 11 November 2006
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Competitive parents, eager to make their children look like Hollywood stars in the school nativity play, have sent sales of tailor-made costumes soaring, says Asda.  

They’re switching from traditional nativity play props - tea towels, tin foil and tinsel -  to bought-in, ready-made outfits, so that their children will look stunning in front of hundreds of friends, family members and rival parents.    

 So great is the trend that demand for ready made Nativity play Shepherds outfits is now outstripping Asda’s top selling clothes ranges for ADULTS.  

And supermarket chiefs have just asked suppliers to rush through an emergency order for 30,000 more outfits to cope with the soaring sales over the next two weeks.  

Said Asda spokesman Ed Watson: “ So intense is the competition that,  in some productions the main characters will probably look more like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt rather than  the Virgin Mary and Joseph.”

 Ready-made Nativity Sheep, with smart, made-to- measure white wool, and realistic looking ears are next in the top selling nativity list.  

Wise Men’s outfits in brilliant red, smooth, regal satin are close behind, with Angel’s outfits in diaphanous white lace are also flying off the shelves.   Asda has even seen colossal demand for ready made donkey outfit for the nativity play.  

Said Asda spokesman Ed Watson: “ Some parents have clearly decided that there’s a big difference between playing the role of  “ donkey “ and looking like a complete ass. 

“ However, many others busy working parents simply no longer have the time to make nativity play outfits using the traditional materials.  “ The average Nativity Play outfit can take up to 20 hours to make, and that’s a lot of time to devote at the end of a buys working day. 

 “ No parent wants to send their child in front of a hall full of people unless they look their best so our ready-made nativity outfits are helping all parents.” 

However, Asda’s sales figures also reveal that the majority of parents are still opting to make nativity outfits the old fashioned way.  Demand for tea towels – essential head gear for Nativity Play shepherds for decades -  has jumped by over 400 per cent in the last two weeks alone as rehearsals begin across the country.  

Sales of tin foil, tinsel, glitter spray – popular components for angels – have also soared, closely followed by string, glue, face paint and other make and do ingredients.

Posted in Press Centre on 29 November 2006