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  • The average UK household had £174 a week of discretionary income in September 2014, up £6 a week year on year and matching the all time high last seen in January 2010
  • The latest increase is the twelfth consecutive month that family spending power has risen, reflecting a year of steady and positive growth in the economy
  • It was positive news across the regions too with London, the East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber seeing the largest increases in family spending power, with incomes up £10, £8 and £7 a week respectively year on year

The latest Asda Income Tracker shows that family spending power increased year on year in September for the twelfth month in a row as discretionary incomes – the income left once taxes and the spend on essentials like rent, utilities and bills have been deducted – were up £6 a week on the same month a year before.

Find out more and read the full report.
Posted in Press Centre on 20 October 2014
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Asda Income Tracker shows sharp increase in family spending power last month

  • The average UK household had £172 a week of discretionary income in August 2014, approaching the all-time high of £174 last seen in January 2010
  • This is now the eleventh month in a row that families have seen their spending power rise year on year
  • The increase in August marks the biggest annual increase in the Income Tracker for five months
  • Household budgets were boosted this month by a slowdown in essential item inflation thanks to falling fuel, food and non-alcoholic drink prices

The latest Asda Income Tracker shows that family spending power increased year on year in August for the eleventh month in a row as discretionary incomes – the income left once taxes and the spend on essentials like rent, utilities and bills have been deducted – in August 2014, were up £5 a week on the same month a year before.

Household finances were boosted by another slowdown in essential item inflation in August, which weakened to just 1.2% – its slowest rate since December 2009 and down by 0.2 percentage points on July of this year. A drop in the price of vehicle fuel, which fell back 5.7% year on year, contributed to the slowdown. Additionally, food prices were down 1.1% year on year, which was the largest annual decline since January 2003. Overall, consumer price inflation, which represents all goods and services purchased for consumption, has also slowed to 1.5% in the year to August, down from 1.6% the previous month and continuing the trend of below target inflation.

The rejuvenated labour market is also helping to bolster overall household incomes. In the three months to July 2014, there were 774,000 more people in work than during the same period last year. The UK unemployment rate fell to 6.2% – the largest year-on-year decline since 1988. At the same time, levels of underemployment (which refers to workers who are only employed part-time when they need full-time employment, or are in roles that are not making full use of their skills) dropped to 16.5%, down from 18.5% at the same time a year ago.

However, whilst there has been an increase in the number of people in work, as businesses ramp up their hiring, average pay growth still remains low. During the three months to July, regular pay (excluding bonuses) rose by only 0.7% on the year before.

Commenting on the findings, President and CEO of Asda, Andy Clarke, said: “For almost a year now households have seen a continued growth in discretionary income, boosting confidence that spending power is on the up and helping to steady the ship of the UK economy. A continued fall in food, vehicle fuel and mortgage payment inflation have all contributed to an increase in household finances and I’m now hearing from customers about a real time benefit to their weekly budgets. I remain mindful that interest rates have stayed low for a significant period of time and it’s realistic to expect that this can’t continue in the long term.

“Even factoring in a possible rise in interest rates next year, families can take confidence that the economy has now seen real sustained growth and this trend looks to continue for the rest of 2014.”

Rob Harbron, Senior Economist, Cebr, said: “It’s encouraging to see inflation on the cost of living falling to its lowest in over four and a half years. This is a factor that is really easing the pressure on household finances.

“Slower price growth has helped family spending power to rise for nearly a full year now, as economic recovery has been gradually feeding through into average households.”

Read the full report here.

Posted in Press Centre on 25 September 2014
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Proud, cash-strapped Brits fib their way through eye tests

  • More than a quarter of Brits haven’t had an eye test in the last three years
  • A fifth have hardly ever been to the opticians
  • A quarter of parents have never taken their children for an eye test
  • Same number would only take their child if they complained about eye sight

It’s not just dentists that Brits dodge, as a fifth admit they have hardly ever been to the opticians in their lifetime, with a quarter of parents having never taken their children for an eye test, according to a survey out today.

The survey of 1,000 men and women commissioned by supermarket, Asda – to support National Eye Health Awareness Week (22nd -28th September) – revealed the nation’s short-sighted attitudes towards eye health and a lack of awareness of the health conditions an eye test can spot.

According to the poll, the majority of British adults aren’t going for routine eye tests biennially, as recommended, and a quarter of parents are relying on schools to monitor their children’s eye health.

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Posted in Press Centre on 22 September 2014
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  • Asda, the UK’s second largest retailer has today announced plans to grow its online business by expanding its Home Shopping and Click and Collect operation over the next four years
  • Plans include the acquisition of a fully automated ‘click and collect’ pod technology concept – a UK first that will see customer orders delivered to a temperature controlled unit ready for collection at their convenience
  • Asda will also refine its online offer for customers to two core sites – Asda.com and George.com – creating a lifestyle site in George.com and offering a more streamlined shopping experience to customers

Asda, the UK’s second largest retailer has today unveiled the latest development in its mission to be the UK’s most convenient online retailer with plans to expand its Home Shopping and Click and Collect operation.

As part of the delivery of its five year strategy, the ambitious move will see the development of three new Asda Home Shopping Centres, an expansion of Click and Collect operations and the merger of Asda’s three shopping websites into two.

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Posted in Press Centre on 08 September 2014
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  • Britain’s second largest retailer has announced LfL* sales growth of 0.5% for the 10 weeks to 30th June 2014 – continuing to deliver on its strategy to redefine value retailing.
  • Clear and consistent EDLP pricing strategy driving performance – maintaining strong price gaps to rest of the Big 4
  • Grocery Home Shopping continues to grow with market share now 18.4%
  • Click & Collect continues to drive e-commerce growth with more than 20,000 customers per week
  • George is now the second largest clothing retailer by volume in the UK

On the day that Walmart releases its earnings for the second quarter of 2014 Asda has announced that in the ten weeks to 30th June the UK’s second largest retailer increased sales on a LfL basis at 0.5% (excluding petrol)*. In continuing challenging trading conditions, the retailer increased its market share year on year by 14bps.

Find out more.
Posted in Press Centre on 14 August 2014