Our first World Food Store opens at Asda Hounslow
Our first ever World Food Store is now open and the new-style store has already attracted a lot of interest.
As much as a fifth of the new-look store at Asda Hounslow is now dedicated to specialist foods for our Asian, Irish, Mediterranean, Afro Caribbean and Polish customers. This includes two ethnic food counters in the store run by outside companies: Delicja, a Polish deli counter hosted by Polish colleagues, and Haji Baba a local Halal butcher who has been in the area for 30 years.
We’ve been planning the changes for several months as a result of customer feedback and have worked with local ethnic communities and customer listening groups to make sure we’ve got the right products at the best prices.
Cat Ramsden, Emerging Markets Customer Planning Manager at Asda, was interviewed about it for the You and Yours programme on BBC Radio 4 and was asked whether it would put local shopkeepers out of business. Cat thinks not.
“There’s no way we can offer the depth of range those stores are offering,” she says. "There will always be the opportunity for customers to go to those stores.
“It’s all about our customers. They want to buy more Asian, Polish and Caribbean products at Asda. Our customers are busy people – they don’t necessarily have time to go round all the different shops.”
The editor of Asian Trader magazine says Asda’s move into this market presents a great opportunity for local businesses who can win on personal service. “Those small shops have to become better in what they do,” he says. “Better prices, fresh meat and a better service. Your local Halal butcher can greet you by name. Successful retailers have to bring all those elements together.”
The new World Food store officially opened on November 2 so if you’re in the area pop in and have a look for yourself.
What ethnic products would you like to see in your local store? Leave a comment below for our World Foods team.