Press Centre

  • Asda confirms more than half of VAT-able products including the whole of George will not move in price on the 1st January
  • 12 stores exceed the four million sales mark, compared to eight stores last year
  • The top performing stores in each UK country were Boldon in England, Edinburgh in Scotland, Swansea in Wales and Enniskillen in Northern Ireland
  • Customers determined to enjoy a traditional family Christmas as sales of premium products increase by 98 per cent over Christmas week.

Despite the adverse weather conditions in the run-up to Christmas, Asda today reported a solid performance as customers braved the weather to make their way into stores across the UK.

It also confirmed that customers would not see a dramatic change from the 1st of January, with more than half of VAT-able items being held in price, including the whole of George.

The 23rd December was the retailer’s biggest trading day on record as customers delayed their ‘big’ shop and took advantage of extended trading hours on Christmas Eve.

The cold snap didn’t put customers off enjoying a traditional family Christmas, with sales of Extra Special and premium lines increasing by 98 per cent over Christmas week as families opted to treat themselves and spend time together over the festive period. Sledges and board games had dramatic sales increases over Christmas week as parents across the UK shared a traditional white Christmas with the kids.

On George, the biggest selling gifts were pyjamas, dressing gowns, slippers and socks as customers cosied up on Christmas Day.

In the seven days up to Christmas 12 ASDA stores had sales of over £4 million. Boldon in the North East was the top performing store, followed closely by Havant and the recently-remodelled Minworth store in the West Midlands. Fifty Asda stores reported sales of over £3 million compared to 47 stores last Christmas and 184 stores had sales of over £2 million – an improvement from 176 stores in 2008.

Asda’s grocery home shopping business also had its biggest Christmas, in the face of tough weather conditions, with more than 100,000 orders delivered in the run-up to Christmas Eve. Drivers battled through snow, wind and ice to ensure customers weren’t left disappointed. Some of its delivery vans had to be pulled from ditches, pushed by passers by, and towed to safety by mountain rescue teams as Asda pulled out all the stops to deliver the Christmas turkey.

Customers in some of the worst affected areas also helped keep things moving by meeting drivers half way and some deliveries were even sent by taxi to shoppers’ homes or delivered by colleagues in their own cars. Despite the challenging weather, Asda reported the best ever availability on Home Shopping orders, opening a record number of slots and extending deliveries into Christmas Eve, with the last orders delivered at 5pm in Corby and High Wycombe.

Andy Bond, Asda president and CEO, said:

“I want to thank colleagues up and down the country who did a sterling job keeping car parks cleared, shelves stocked and customers moving through the tills all week, working around the clock right up until 6pm on Christmas Eve.

“I’m extremely pleased with their performance this year. Together they’ve helped save our customers millions of pounds each and every week, something they should all be very proud of.”

On the impending sales tax rise Andy Bond added:

“While there are clearly challenges ahead, like the impending VAT increase, what matters most to customers is the price they pay at the till. Because we always aim to have the lowest prices, customers shouldn’t expect to see dramatic changes at Asda on January 1st. In fact, more than half of VAT-able items we sell won’t move in price, including the whole of George.

“I’m very confident about our prospects next year, despite the fact it’s going to be tougher for customers. We’re ready to face into whatever the economy and Government throws at us.”

This week customers can also pick up a bargain in Asda’s post Christmas sale, with some products slashed by as much as 50 per cent. Customers are able to pick up amazing deals, such as a Blu-Ray DVD player for just £77 and a Dyson vacuum cleaner for £100, a ladies’ cashmere jumper for £14, and a Vidal Sassoon hair dryer for £5.

Posted in Press Centre on 29 December 2009
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Supermarket knocks up to 3ppl off fuel setting new national prices for unleaded and diesel

Today (Friday 11th December), Asda announced it has once again started lowering the price of petrol and diesel at every one of its 179 forecourts across the UK bringing welcome relief to drivers preparing for Christmas.

By tomorrow morning, no customer will pay more than 103.9 pence per litre for unleaded and 105.9 pence per litre for diesel when filling up at any of the supermarket’s forecourts.

With the AA earlier this week calling for pump prices to be cut by a penny a litre, Asda’s move is slashing the price by up to three pence a litre for petrol and up to two pence a litre for diesel.

The result of falling product costs, the cut sees the supermarket move quickly to share the saving with motorists across the UK as it once again leads prices down at the pumps.

With average UK pump prices standing at 108.99ppl for petrol and 110.26ppl for diesel*, motorists will save an average £2.75 filling up a 55 litre tank at Asda this weekend.

David Miles, Asda’s commercial director commented: “With Christmas just around the corner, it’s a time when cash is tight and we want to help our customers make it go further”.

“With this early Christmas present, we’re putting money back in our customers’ pockets wherever they fill up by moving quickly to pass the saving on as our costs fall.”

Earlier this year Asda launched an interactive Google map on its website – – so drivers can find their nearest Asda forecourt to help save them money.

Posted in Press Centre on 12 December 2009
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  • Asda’s high tech “Queue Cue” shaves minutes off waiting times
  • Asda ‘happy to help’, investing over £3 million in seasonal service
  • Boffins predict peak time as 12.17pm on Wednesday 23rd December, with customer numbers set to increase by 25 per cent
  • Pizzas fly off the shelves as shoppers save themselves for Christmas and snack on take out instead

Posted in Press Centre on 21 December 2009
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• Walmart signs global deal to operate official event stores for 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa
• Asda set to sell 2010 FIFA official merchandise in its stores
• Supermarket has hundreds of match tickets to giveaway to customers

Asda’s parent company Walmart has signed a global deal with FIFA to operate official 2010 FIFA World Cup event stores in outlets across the world. Asda customers will benefit from the deal by being able to buy great value official FIFA World Cup products in selected stores next summer. They will also be able to get their hands on hundreds of tickets for the finals including England’s games.

Next year’s World Cup is set to be a real family affair, with England games being screened at convenient times of the day enabling millions of fans to tune in. As a result Asda is gearing up for one of the biggest sporting events in its history.

Posted in Press Centre on 03 December 2009
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At Asda stores up and down the country, additional home delivery drivers are revving their engines and heading for the roads, with vans full of goodies for the thousands of customers that use its services weekly. In the run up to Christmas, Asda has seen a significant rise in the number of its customers turning to online shopping and home deliveries. In response, the supermarket is offering 30% more delivery slots than last year and the supermarket delivery areas now cover 97% of the UK.

This week Asda opened bookings for its highly coveted home delivery slot for 23rd December – almost all slots were booked in 30 minutes. In anticipation for the increased demand, the retailer has even opened a ‘dark store’ with 500 colleagues working purely to fulfil online orders in the Leeds region. Across the nation, a fleet of 3,500 Asda drivers are ready to make almost 500,000 deliveries between now and New Year.

Asda has experienced a 47% increase in home deliveries in the last year and a 26% increase between the first two weeks of November compared to the last two weeks of November this year. With some of the most popular delivery items being essentials like milk and mince, Asda customers are also getting in to the Christmas spirit. Satsumas are the third most popular item ordered for home delivery, suggesting that parents are planning to fill their children’s stockings with the seasonal juicy fruit this Christmas.

Top three most ordered home delivery items:
1. Confectionary Tins (market leading price of £5 for a 975g tin of Roses or Quality Street)
2. Brussel Sprouts (£1 for 500g)
3. Easy Peel Satsuma’s (2 for £2 or £1.07 for 700g)

In addition to this Asda expects to deliver 250,000 confectionary tins this month and a whopping 1.5 million Brussel Sprouts in November and December as people stock up for their Christmas feasts.

With insight revealing that one in four people are planning to buy a gift from a supermarket this Christmas**, a glut of postal strikes and the media attention around ‘Cyber Monday’, consumers are turning to the convenience of home deliveries on their grocery shopping.

David Martin, Asda’s Home Delivery Manager comments, “We’re operating seven, two-hour delivery slots a day, seven days a week to keep up with demand. With deliveries available until at 10pm online shopping is a popular option for those of us working long hours, plus it allows you to tot up your total as you click and buy!”
Unlike its competitors Asda has not raised its Home Deliveries prices for Christmas. Asda Home Deliveries cost between £3.50 and £5.50 depending on the day and time of the slot.

Posted in Press Centre on 06 December 2009
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Disposable income falls month on month, as transport costs rise and unemployment remains

  • 4.9 per cent year on year increase in discretionary income of average UK household
  • Mortgage interest payments 41.4 per cent lower compared with a year earlier
  • Transport costs 6.9 per cent higher compared with a year earlier as Asda comes out top in petrol price polls
  • Northern Ireland sees the smallest year on year increase in spending power at £5
  • South West and North West regions see largest year on year rise of seven per cent.
Posted in Press Centre on 21 December 2009
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  • Sales of tea towels increase by 30 per cent
  • George nativity outfits outstrip 2008 sales by 11 per cent
  • Asda offers colleagues ‘Nativity Leave’ to watch their kids perform

Asda has today reported a surge in sales of tea towels as parents across the UK prepare for their annual kids’ nativity play.

Sales of Asda tea towels have increased by over 30 per cent over the last few weeks as busy parents and teachers rush to make DIY shepherd costumes for kids’ plays. The most popular selling item has been a pack of three Smartprice tea towels for just 91p – a clear leader in parents’ choice of head-dress.

More organised mums have bought their outfits ready made from Asda’s George nativity range which has seen a sales surge of 21 per cent on this time last year. For as little as £5 per costume, parents can recreate the Christmas story, with an angel, a, star, a king, a shepherd, a donkey, a sheep and most importantly customers can pick up a virgin Mary costume complete with baby Jesus for just £8.

In fact, a full cast will cost you less than £50 – making Christmas more affordable for teachers, parents and budding directors across the UK.

Although many parents wish that their little angels are cast as Mary or Jesus in their school play, the top selling costume is in fact a Sheep. Sales of star costumes are a close second, with elves, kings and Mary in third, fourth and fifth place.

To mark the occasion, Asda is offering its colleagues the opportunity to take ‘Nativity Leave’* and watch their children re-enact that famous night in Bethlehem. By taking advantage of the company’s ‘shift swap’ flexible working programme, colleagues can swap their working hours with fellow colleagues to ensure they don’t miss out on the action.

Sarah Dickins, Retail People Director for Asda commented;

“Christmas is a wonderful time for everyone and we want to make sure that our colleagues don’t miss out on seeing their little ones taking their star turn. By utilising our shift swap schemes, mums and dads will not miss out on that all important festive performance and can be there to support their children throughout their acting debut.”

Posted in Press Centre on 04 December 2009
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Asda predicts its biggest party celebration since the Millennium

With only 24 hours until the end of the decade, supermarket shelves are being raided as revellers prepare to party. Asda is experiencing its biggest ever peak in sales of canapés, crisps, nuts, pizza and drinks as shoppers shun expensive clubs, and bars to party at home.

According to research from Asda, 1 in 3 people will be seeing in the New Year at home in a bid to save money on babysitters, taxi cabs and club entry tickets. The average party host spends £74 providing a spread for their guests; less than the cost of a ticket to see Take That at the O2 on New Year’s Eve. Sales at Asda’s pizza counter have soared by 400% in the last four days whilst Sausage Rolls, Breaded Chicken Goujons and Mini Cottage Pies are all top sellers.

125,000 bags of peanuts and 2 million olives are expected to be eaten in on New Year’s Eve, whilst over 400,000 million paper plates, 200,000 million napkins, and 125,000 packs of disposable cutlery will hit shelves today. Even the retailer’s £14 Pierre Darcys Champagne is adding sparkle to Hogmanay house parties. With cocktails costing almost £12 in some bars savvy party-goers can start the evening with a home-made own Mojito for just 90 pence a head according to Asda.

Gemma Robertson, Pizza Buyer at Asda comments: “They say that the best parties are always in the kitchen and it seems that our customer’s agree, with work surfaces likely to be packed to the brim with party food. We shift more pizza than many well known delivery companies on a Saturday night but this Thursday night is set to be a record breaker.”

Asda is stocking up on carpet cleaner, paracetamol and bin liners for the inevitable mass clean up due to sweep the nation on 1st January 2010.

Posted in Press Centre on 31 December 2009
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Since September, the X Factor has taken the nation by storm dominating the headlines and becoming essential water-cooler gossip. But it’s not just the hits that have turned the nation into cheese lovers – supermarket Asda has seen pizza sales soar by 400% since Simon and the gang took to the streets searching for a new star.

Given that over 50% of Asda customers watch either X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing in most cases it’s no surprise that many families are giving mum a night off from cooking and stocking up on fresh pizzas and other take-away goodies. Asda ‘create your own’ pizza counters offer families a fun and creative way to enjoy dinner.

Gemma Robertson, Pizza Buyer at Asda comments: “The X Factor phenomenon is truly sweeping the nation – in our shopping habits we are living and breathing it! Pizza is a real winner and we shift more pizza than many well known delivery companies on a Saturday night”

Gemma added: “With the series shake up this year the final is on both Saturday and Sunday which gives our customers two nights to celebrate. Pizza and our other take away offerings are always popular as they are perfect to share with friends and family”

To celebrate the final weekend which expects to receive over 12 million viewers, Asda are offering every customer a chance to come in to either the Dagenham, Chelmsford or South Shields store to have their own X Factor pizza made in support of their favourite contestant Stacey (Dagenham), Olly (Chelmsford) and Joe (South Shields). The pizza will include the famous ‘X’ logo made out of any ingredient the customer wants. This is available on Saturday and Sunday only.

Some local stores have even outshone the sales increase such as South Shields which has seen sales rise by a massive 800% since they launched their campaign to vote Geordie Joe McElderry to win.

Posted in Press Centre on 12 December 2009
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Turkey rustling has become an increasing problem for turkey farmers this Christmas, even the Prince of Wales has had his entire flock stolen by turkey rustlers as canny thieves looked to profit from the highly valued birds. As the major supplier for all Asda’s free-range organic turkeys, Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd are being extra cautious by placing a security guard on 24 hour watch over the special birds.

Asda’s organic turkeys which are reared in Norfolk are the crème de la crème of all turkeys sold in supermarkets and can fetch sizeable amounts on the black market. With increased consumer demand in turkeys this year, farmers and retailers are pulling out all the stops to outwit wily rustlers and to make sure customers don’t go without.

As well as being closely guarded they are treated with extra special care; they spend the first six weeks of their lives in conventional housing, after which they are moved to small mobile systems that after 4-5 days have the doors are opened where they can roam free. Food is kept in the unit so it stays fresh and dry. Most of this year’s turkeys from Asda were born in mid July so are six months old. They are given a comfortable straw bed, regular baths and many are given objects to peck – toys such as CDs on strings, cabbages, sprout stalks and even straw bails to lounge out on all make for healthy, happy turkeys.

Mark Lawton, Customer Planner Fresh Meat and Fish commented, “Day and night our security guard has a bird’s eye view of our precious gobblers. Turkey rustling is a problem for all farmers, but we prefer to be vigilant at all times. It’s not just the two legged rustlers that need attention, it’s also the four legged kind as well.”

Mark added, “We can now sleep easy at night knowing our precious turkeys are in safe hands and are under the watchful eye of the best farmers in the land. It means that customers are guaranteed a fresh, tasty and juicy turkey on Christmas day”.

Asda’s turkeys are sourced from Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd who have been farming turkeys for over 20 years and rear the finest Kelly Bronze Turkeys – named after award winning Derek Kelly who has been farming turkeys since 1972. All turkeys are free range and British and will be in store from 19th December.

Posted in Press Centre on 06 December 2009