Asda Stores Ltd. trading as Asda, is a British supermarket retailer,
headquartered in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The company was founded in
1965 when the supermarket owning Asquith family merged with the
Associated Dairies company of Yorkshire. It expanded in to the south
of England during the 1970s and 1980s, and acquired Allied Carpets, 61
large Gateway Supermarkets and other businesses, such as MFI, then
during the 1990s, sold off its acquisitions to concentrate on the
supermarkets. It became a subsidiary of the American retail corporate
Walmart after a £6.7 billion takeover in July 1999, and was the
second-largest supermarket chain in Britain between 2003 and 2014 by
market share, and is currently third behind
Tesco and Sainsbury's.
Besides its core supermarket retail format, the company also offers a
number of other products, including financial services and a mobile
phone company using the existing EE network. Asda's marketing
promotions are usually based solely on price, and since 2015, like its
parent company, Walmart,
Asda has promoted itself under the slogan
"Save Money. Live Better". Since 1987,
Asda has also had its
property development subsidiary, McLagan Investments Ltd, which is
based at the main
Leeds head office site. The company is responsible
for acquiring land for new
Asda store developments, along with the
relevant planning applications that are submitted to local councils,
and the potential acquisition of any retail stores or developments
placed for sale on the open market by any of its main competitors.
As a wholly owned division of Walmart,
Asda is not required to declare
quarterly or half-yearly earnings, but it submits full accounts to the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission each November. Despite being a
subsidiary of Walmart, the company has more autonomy than any of the
other supermarket chains within the
Walmart International division,
and has retained its own British management team and board since the
1.1 Early history
1.2 First stores
1.3 Rapid expansion of the 1970s
1.4 Decline in the 1980s and early-1990s
1.5 Near bankruptcy and purchase by Walmart
1.6 After purchase by Walmart
3 Store formats
3.5 George stores
4 Brands and services
Asda Smart Price
4.2 Chosen By You
4.3 George clothing
7 Financial performance
8 Employee relations
10 Corporate social responsibility
10.1 Energy efficiency
10.2 Ethical trading
10.3 Call for boycott
11.1 Dairy price fixing
11.2 False and misleading advertising
11.3 2013 horsemeat scandal
13 See also
15 External links
A bust of co-founder Peter Asquith outside
Asda House in Leeds
The Asquith family were butchers based in Knottingley, West Yorkshire.
In the 1920s, their rising aspirations meant that they expanded their
business to seven butchers shops in the area. Their sons, Peter and
Fred, later became founding members of Asda.
Around the same time, a group of
West Riding dairy farmers, including
the Stockdale family and Craven Dairies, joined together under the
banner of J.W Hindell Dairy Farmers Ltd. This company diversified in
1949 to become Associated Dairies and Farm Stores Ltd, with Arthur
Stockdale as the managing director.
In 1963, the Asquith brothers converted an old cinema building, the
Queens in Castleford, into a self-service supermarket. Another swiftly
followed in the old indoor market at Edlington, near Doncaster. Both
stores traded under the name of 'Queens'. Instead of converting an
existing building, their next store was a purpose-built supermarket in
South Elmsall, near
Pontefract on the site of the old Palace cinema.
In 1965, when the Asquith brothers approached Associated Dairies to
run the butchery departments within their small store chain, a merger
was proposed. So they joined together with Noel Stockdale, Arthur
Stockdale's son, to form a new company,
Asda (Asquith + Dairies)
(capitalised from 1985).
Another store opened in
Wakefield then in Wortley,
Leeds which was
swiftly followed by another supermarket in the
Whitkirk suburb of
Leeds, which consolidated the newly formed supermarket division of
Associated Dairies. By 1967, the company had moved outside of
Yorkshire to set up a store in the North East in the industrial town
of Billingham, Teesside, which is still trading to the present day. By
1968, the Asquith brothers had their stake in the merger bought out by
Noel Stockdale, and the
Asda Queens stores became the sole property of
Associated Dairies and the Queens name was removed as the stores
became known solely as Asda.
Asda took advantage of the abolition of retail price maintenance to
offer large-scale, low-cost supermarkets. This was aided by the risky
decision to acquire three struggling US-owned branches in the
mid-1960s of the GEM retail group. The Government Exchange Mart stores
in Preston, Lancashire, Cross Gates,
Leeds and including the first
out-of-town store in
West Bridgford in Nottingham, that opened in
November 1964, had accumulated losses of £320,000 and offered to sell
the stores for 20% of whatever
Asda could recoup as losses from the
Inland Revenue. They received the whole amount back so got the stores
for free. The rent was only 10 shillings (50p) per square foot on a
20-year lease, with no rent reviews- all in all a great deal. Asda
increased GEM's £6,000 per week sales to around £60,000 per week in
just six months with the new stores named solely as just Asda.
Asda rebuilt the
West Bridgford store in 1999, adjacent to the old
site which was demolished and is now part of the current store car
park. The Preston store was based on the ground floor of a converted
mill which had been occupied by a supermarket called Fame prior to GEM
taking over, and then subsequently Asda. The mill was demolished in
the mid-1980s when
Asda opened two new purpose-built superstores in
the area. One was in the centre of Preston located at the Fishergate
Shopping Centre, which closed in 1992, less than seven years after
opening due to poor trading. And the second was located in the
suburban district of Fulwood. The Fulwood store is still trading today
and is a very popular store. The Cross Gates store in
Leeds was closed
in 1992, along with the
Whitkirk and Wortley stores, and their
replacement was a large superstore built in the
Killingbeck area of
the city which had opened in the autumn of 1991. The Wortley store
ended up being sold to
Netto UK in 1992, but was rebought when Asda
acquired the Netto chain in 2011, to become part of its small
Rapid expansion of the 1970s
The 1970s had seen
Asda rapidly expanding to open large superstores in
edge-and out-of-town locations, and to build stores with district
centres in smaller towns. It also added more petrol filling stations
to stores, along with car tyre bays run by ATS. With over 30 stores in
the north of England,
Asda began their expansion into the south of the
country with the opening of new stores in the
Estover area of
Devon and Gosport,
Hampshire in 1976. Closely followed by
its first store in
South Wales in Rogerstone, Newport, which relocated
to a larger store in nearby
Duffryn in 1989. South Woodham Ferrers,
Chelmsford, Essex and Whitchurch, Bristol.
By 1981, under the soon to be outgoing, Managing Director, Peter
Asda stores were trading. When he first became
head of the
Asda stores division in 1971, with the approval of
Chairman, Noel Stockdale, he introduced delicatessen counters and
in-store bakery departments to all
Asda stores. The last store to open
under his tenure was in the
Manchester suburb of Harpurhey. But the
growth of the chain was slowing down and their southern expansion had
been expensive. They had been fighting with southern rivals
Sainsbury's to acquire prime retail sites in the more affluent South
East counties of England. Indeed, the first
London store was not
opened until 1982, in Park Royal, near Ealing, which was rebuilt in
Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs and Charlton,
London stores followed on rapidly
in 1983. The 1970s and '80s saw the diversification of Asda's product
base, including the acquisition of
Allied Carpets in 1978, Wades
Asda Property, and in 1985,
Asda Drive - where the company
unsuccessfully piloted a scheme to sell cars in a few of its largest
stores. These diversifications were as a result of Associated milking
two cash cows. The dairy side of the business was making huge profits,
as was the supermarket division. And with planning permission for new
stores being restricted by local councils up and down the UK, and with
prime sites being so expensive. Associated Dairies ambitions in the
short-term could only be met by expanding rapidly with these
peripheral businesses. Ultimately, these non-food ventures generated
very little profit and drained capital expenditure away from the main
dairy division and supermarket chain.
Decline in the 1980s and early-1990s
The 1980s were a turbulent period for
Asda as they moved away from
their founding principles of price competitiveness and good value. In
1984, new Managing Director, John Hardman, made bold attempts to halt
Asda's decline, which included the development of completely new look
stores, first trialled in 1985 at a three-year-old store in Leamington
Spa, Warwickshire, which contrasted with older
Asda stores with their
spartan, carton stacked, minimalistic interiors and chocolate brown
and beige artexed walls.
A new green corporate logo which was capitalised as ASDA was also
introduced. EPOS barcode scanning checkouts were introduced into
refurbished and newly built stores from 1985, but it was not until
1994, that all stores had updated their IT systems to offer this
technology. More upmarket and tastefully decorated stores with soft
pastel colour tones, suspended ceilings and zoned areas were built,
and introduced to older revamped stores. More specialist fresh food
counters such as fresh fish, pizza bars, salad bars, and patisserie
counters were brought in to entice more wealthier shoppers. Softer
lighting was introduced to stores along with the launch of Asda
own-label products in 1986, centralised distribution depots by 1989,
and by the end of the decade the 'Asdale'-named clothing range was
replaced by the clothing ranges from the newly formed George Davies
partnership with Asda. Davies was an experienced and successful
entrepreneur who had founded the Next clothing chain of retail stores.
These changes were initially positive for the company, but they came
at a cost.
The recession of the early 1990s impacted on the average household
budget, and affected the amount of disposable income that the average
consumer had to spend, and with rising inflation it hit
whose stores were more heavily concentrated in the north than in the
more affluent south east harder. The move upmarket had also pushed
in-store service and labour costs up which impacted on profit margins
Asda had also neglected many of the older stores within its estate by
not refurbishing them in line with other stores that had been
refurbished and its more expensive new store sites. One example was
the Astley Bridge,
Bolton store which had been built in 1970. This
store did not receive its first major refurbishment until 1993, and
was until that point still trading with the old blue and orange Asda
corporate logo and signage attached to the building in various
positions, and there were many other stores like that. It meant that
Asda had left the older, outdated unrefurbished stores in locations
where competitors were opening new stores more vulnerable to losing
customers to their shiny new rivals.
Asda had also heavily increased prices across its ranges to try to
offset growing operating costs and increase volume sales and margins
which had narrowed within its stores, as a result customers deserted
the chain in droves. This was compounded by problems with start-up
costs and teething troubles with the new regional distribution depots.
Computer systems taking restock orders from stores and then ordering
goods, especially fresh food, from suppliers that were meant to come
into the depots and then delivered on to the stores were not
functioning properly, which meant stores ran out of stock of some
items for days at a time. That also meant that the company had to
temporarily use manual ordering, which of course meant a loss of sales
at stores and wastage costs that ran into tens of millions of pounds.
Asda was entering a vicious circle with a flawed and compromised
trading strategy and with a management team who were floundering and
in charge of a company heading into a steady decline.
Between 1985 and 1987, Associated Dairies Group PLC, and
Ltd, merged with MFI (Mullard Furniture Industries) and the group was
MFI Group plc. The other companies in the group were
Associated Dairies Limited, the furniture retailer MFI and Allied
Carpets. After the sale of MFI in 1987, the company name changed to
Asda Group plc. The Associated Dairies division was renamed as
Associated Fresh Foods, the abattoir and meat processing plant at
Lofthouse, near Wakefield, which supplied fresh meat to all Asda
stores was renamed as Lofthouse Foods. The focus of the group had
switched firmly by the late 1980s to the
Asda store chain. In 1988,
Asda had also acquired the Waring & Gillow, Colonel Gee, and Maple
& Co furniture brands and Maples stores. Co-branded stores under
the Allied Maples banner had appeared on major retail parks. But, in
1993, the whole fresh food division, including the
Asda Produce, fruit
and vegetable sourcing, processing and packing plant in Normanton,
Wakefield, was sold off in a management buyout to other dairy and food
processors. In the same year, Maples was divested in a management
buyout, and became an independent company again until it went into
liquidation in 1997, and the stores were bought out by the now defunct
Allders department store chain.
Allied Carpets and some of the
co-branded Allied Maples stores were sold off to the now defunct
Carpetland. This means that
Asda has since had no connection with
any of the firms from which its name was derived. Having effectively
outgrown and divested of its original parent company, Associated
Dairies, where it was only initially believed in 1965, that the tiny
Asda supermarket division would only be a minor contributor to the
dairy divisions profits, which at that time consisted of their wider
and more profitable interests, including farms, dairies, butcher's
shops, bakeries and doorstep milk deliveries.
Near bankruptcy and purchase by Walmart
With stores mainly based in the North of England, the newly focused
food retail group expanded further south in 1989 by buying the large
format stores of rival Gateway Superstores for £705 million.
City estimates suggested that
Asda had overpaid by around £300
million for 61 of the largest Gateway stores, two undeveloped store
sites and a distribution centre. That was far above the net book value
of the locations some of which were poorly sited.
subsequently relocated or rebuilt more than 30 of the original Gateway
stores since the late 1990s. This move overstretched the company and
by 1991, it found itself in serious financial trouble and saddled with
£1 billion worth of debt The situation was so dire
Asda was close
to breaching its banking covenants and came very close to bankruptcy.
The city at that point widely regarded
Asda as a basket case and
predicted an early demise for the chain. As a result, it was forced to
raise money from shareholders in both 1991, and 1993, through two
major rights issues.
Asda was back in the black by late 1993, and
completely transformed and revived by 1995, in one of the most
successful turnaround stories in British retail history under the
leadership of Archie Norman, who later became a front bench
Conservative MP. CEO from 1991, Norman was chairman of the company
during the period 1996–99, and remodelled the store along the lines
of the world's largest retailer, Walmart, sending protégé Allan
Bentonville, Arkansas to assess and photograph the systems
and marketing deployed by Walmart.
When Norman left the company to pursue his political career, he was
replaced by Leighton.
Walmart wanted to enter the UK market so CEO Bob
British Prime Minister
British Prime Minister
Tony Blair on planning
issues. Asda, which at the time owned 229 stores, was purchased by
Walmart on 26 July 1999 for £6.7 billion, trumping a rival bid
from Kingfisher plc.
After purchase by Walmart
Following the takeover,
Asda retained its headquarters at "Asda
House". The site was officially opened in 1988 by the then Prime
Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
Asda previously had an assortment of
seven different offices throughout Leeds, including Craven House, on
the outskirts of the city in Kirkstall Road. The largest being,
Britannia House, located at the converted Britannia Mills site in
Morley. This was demolished along with an older
Asda superstore which
was rebuilt with a larger sales area on land adjacent to the old site.
The new head office building brought all of the administration
departments under the same roof for the first time. This new building
was also one of the first of the new large office blocks to open as
part of the redevelopment of the huge area south of the
River Aire in
Leeds city centre, in the
West Yorkshire during the
Asda has more recently also leased space in "The Mint"
office development adjacent to the main head office site, and has
taken office space as part of the redevelopment of the former
Carlsberg-Tetley brewery site across the road to support its
ever-growing administration and IT operations.
Asda also built new
Britannia House in Morley on the site of one of its old head office
sites. This building is directly behind the Morley superstore, and the
customer service team based at Asda's South Bank head office relocated
to new Britannia House in February 2016. The
Leeds grocery online home
shopping centre is also located in a separate building on the Morley
In 2005, amid reported concerns within
Walmart about a slippage in
market share, partially due to a resurgent Sainsbury's, Asda's chief
Tony De Nunzio left, and was replaced by Andy Bond. In
Asda expanded into Northern Ireland by purchasing 12 former
Safeway stores from Morrisons.
Asda's property development arm, Gazeley Limited, was sold to Economic
Zones World (EZW), a
Dubai World subsidiary, in June 2008 for in
excess of £300m. Gazeley was involved in the development of
distribution warehousing in the UK, mainland Europe and China, for
customers including third-party logistics providers, original
equipment manufacturers, retailers and their suppliers.
In November 2008, there were reports that
Asda was to buy Irish
retailer Dunnes Stores.
In August 2009,
Asda for £6.9 billion to their
Leeds-based investment subsidiary Corinth Services Limited. The
deal was described as part of a "group restructuring" and meant Asda
remained under the control of Walmart, since Corinth is itself a
On 11 May 2010, Andy Clarke, a former manager of an
Asda store, who
was also the chief operating officer, was appointed as CEO.
In May 2010,
Asda bought the original
Netto UK supermarket chain in a
£778 million deal. The deal provided the company with smaller
stores that became part of the supermarket division formed in 2009,
with most Netto stores being only one fifth of the size of a branch
within the core
Asda superstore format. In September 2010,
required to sell 47 of the existing 194 Netto stores following a
ruling by the Office of Fair Trading. The rebranding of Netto stores
Asda began in early 2011.
In June 2016, it was announced that Andy Clarke, CEO since 2010, would
be replaced by Sean Clarke, the head of parent company Walmart's
operations in China.
Sean Clarke officially became CEO of
Asda on 11 July 2016.
Roger Burnley also rejoined the company as deputy CEO and COO (chief
operating officer) in October 2016. Yorkshireman, Mr. Burnley
previously worked for
Asda between 1996 until 2001. He was in charge
of overseeing the integration of
Asda IT systems and logistics into
Walmart's operations after the 1999 takeover, before joining
Sainsbury's in 2002, where he remained until 2015.
In October 2017
Asda announced the CEO
Sean Clarke will be replaced by
Roger Burnley, the current deputy CEO, from 1 January 2018. This will
be Asda's sixth CEO since 2000.
In November 2017,
Asda poached Jesus Lorente, from French hypermarket
retailer Carrefour. He becomes CMO (Chief Merchandising Officer) in
early 2018, and will be in charge of reinvigorating the fresh food and
general merchandise offer within all stores.
A Supercentre in Haydon, Swindon, branded
Walmart in 2013
Asda originally had a "simple and fresh" store format, which under
Archie Norman's team and the later mid-'90s focus on a
strategy became more emphasised. The stores had a simplistic three
zone layout but built on a
Walmart larger footprint format – Asda's
average store is almost 20% bigger than its rivals, with a range of
over 30,000 different products in its largest stores.
However, the preferred large-format stores have brought problems to
Asda's growth beyond its spurts in both the 1990s and immediate post
Walmart era. With the UK's tight planning restrictions, the
opportunity to increase retail space via new store builds has been
limited. Rather than follow rivals
Sainsbury's into "local"
format smaller-footprint stores,
Asda has chosen to adapt its format
to niche stores to retain longer term growth.
On 16 April 2010,
Asda announced plans to open over 100 new non-food
stores as part of an ambitious five-year plan. These plans were
mothballed shortly after because of the recession and the reining in
of spending by consumers on non-food purchases.
In February 2011,
Asda announced the purchase of six stores from Focus
DIY, which were converted into supermarkets later that year.
In 2015, all
Asda stores celebrated the company's 50th anniversary,
and that reached a milestone on 7 September with the opening of the
600th store in Gillingham Pier, Kent, which forms part of a much
larger redevelopment of the former historical Royal Naval Dockyard in
Chatham by property developer Peel Holdings.
Other new store openings in 2015 also included Norwich, the second
Asda superstore within the
Norwich area located to the south of the
city in the Tuckswood district, Alsager, Tranent, Pyle, Hayes,
London suburb, Marple, Greater Manchester, and Altrincham.
New high street format, town centre stores also opened in
Wealdstone in the
Asda relocated their old
from the town's main shopping centre to a new, bigger site. The
company also replaced their small store in Beeston,
Leeds with a
larger store and a new petrol filling station on brownfield land
adjacent to the old site. And, B&Q sold half of the sales area of
Redditch DIY warehouse store for
Asda to redevelop into a
In the autumn of 2016,
Asda opened new stores in areas including
Clacton-on-Sea, Lewisham, Stantonbury, within the Milton Keynes
boundary area, and Barnstaple. On 28 November the company opened its
630th store as one of the main anchor tenants of the new Barons Quay
development in Northwich.
Asda opened a new superstore in
Newport, Isle of Wight
Newport, Isle of Wight on 21 August
2017. This is the first
Asda store on the Island, and its main
competitors have already been long-established on the Isle of Wight
with their own stores since the late 1980s/1990s. In 2017,
stores in other areas within the UK including Raunds, South Ruislip
and Selsey. New high street small format stores opened in
Newton Leys during October 2017. Two supermarkets were also acquired
from regional Co-op societies in
Sedgley and Bucknall, Staffordshire.
Between the summer and late autumn of 2016, mobile phone and
credit/debit contactless card payments were rolled out to all Asda
stores, after initial trials began in some
London area stores in 2012.
Following the takeover by Walmart, several "
have been opened, creating some of the largest hypermarkets in the
United Kingdom. Since 2006, all new Supercentres have been solely
Asda Supercentre without the
Walmart branding. The first
Supercentre with a sales area of 8,600 m2
(93,000 sq ft) opened in Patchway, Bristol in the summer of
2000. The first Scottish Supercentre opened in Livingston, in
2001. The Bletchley,
Milton Keynes Supercentre which opened in
November 2005 is currently the largest
Asda Supercentre with a net
sales floor of over 11,000 m2 (120,000 sq ft). This
was preceded in June 2002 by the Eastlands,
Manchester store which was
the largest store at the time with a sales area of 10,000 m2
(110,000 sq ft) but is currently the second largest Asda
Supercentre, and the third largest is located in Minworth, West
Midlands, followed by Patchway. As of 31 January 2018, there are 32
Supercentres. There have been no more new Supercentre openings
since 2008, and the dual
Asda Wal*Mart branding on the older
Supercentres is being gradually phased out in favour of using the sole
Asda branding as each store comes up for major refurbishment work.
Most supercentres have now removed the dual
Walmart branding. Most
supercentres also have a petrol station. They also have either a
customer cafe, or a
McDonald's franchise restaurant. However, the
Pudsey supercentre has both. This store is also the only supercentre
to have a basement-level sales floor underneath the original
surface-level ground floor sales area. At the time of the Pudsey
superstore conversion to the supercentre format in 2002, the building
contractors could not build a traditional exterior extension due to
lack of space, because the
Pudsey site had been a joint venture
development with Marks & Spencer in 1990, and they had a large
store immediately adjacent to the
Asda store. So, it was decided that
instead of creating a first floor mezzanine level extension it would
be better to drill down underneath the original shop floor to excavate
and create a new basement store extension.
Since 2015, some supercentres and larger superstore locations have
introduced "Express Diners". Supercentres that have been recently
refurbished in locations such as Eastlands, Stevenage, Tamworth,
Staffordshire and Huyton,
Liverpool have removed the supercentre
signage altogether, along with the red lollipop 24 hour opening
banners. Since 2016,
Asda are only using their new 2015, refreshed
logo on exterior signage, with the exception of third party retailers
who they lease sales floor space to. This is being rolled out to all
stores regardless of store size and format by 2019. These stores also
added a McGee's traditional craft butchery department, who already
operate the fresh meat counters within all 16 of the Northern Ireland
Asda superstores. They also opened Decathlon sportswear and equipment
stores during their refurbishments between April and June 2016.
Decathlon signage is prominent on the exterior of these
The interior of the
Asda store in Liscard, Wirral, taken from the
store's staff and visitor reception area.
Asda superstores are large supermarkets with a non-food offer slightly
smaller than an
Asda Supercentre. As of 31 January 2018, there are 341
superstores. Most superstores have a petrol filling station and dining
and refreshment facilities for shoppers such as customer cafes, and
selected stores have
McDonald's franchise restaurants or "Express
Diners" The Old Kent Road,
Colindale stores are
trialling a Subway franchise. There are currently no plans to roll the
Subway franchise out across the chain.
Asda Supercentre in West Bridgford, Nottingham. The
vinyl logo is on the front of the building located at the far right of
this photograph (out of shot).
Asda Superstore in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
A smaller, older
Asda Superstore in Holt Park, Leeds
Asda superstore, in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, which replaced an
older store on the same site in 1999, has been given a refurbishment
and updated logo since this picture was taken.
Supermarket division was formed in 2009. As of July 2010, there
were 26 small format supermarkets some of which were acquired from the
Co-operative Group. The first three acquisition stores opened mid-2009
in Wellington, Somerset; Lancing, West Sussex and Pershore,
Worcestershire. This was followed by Cumnock, East Ayrshire;
Tweedmouth, Northumberland and Kings Heath,
Birmingham in 2010. The
largest supermarket format store in the UK was built and opened in
2007 in Highbridge, Somerset. This store is now part of the core
superstore estate.
In May 2010,
Asda announced the purchase of the 193 UK stores of
Danish discount retailer Netto in a £778 million deal. But the
Competition Commission made them sell off 47 of the stores to other
retailers. The remaining stores continued to trade as Netto stores
until early 2011, when
Asda integrated the stores into its
supermarkets division, designated for shops smaller than 2,300 m2
(25,000 sq ft). There are now over 200 stores in the
smaller supermarket division.
Asda have also continued to purchase
stores from different Co-operative societies in other parts of the UK
such as Kettering, Northamptonshire; South Wootton, Norfolk and
Tiptree, Essex. They have also converted empty retail stores formerly
operated by the likes of B&Q (Chadwell Heath, East London), Wickes
(Tunbridge Wells, Kent) and Smyths Toys (Mitcham, Surrey) into stores
within the supermarket division. Although with a larger sales area
than most stores within the division itself, they are just under the
size that would make them part of the core superstore estate. Asda
have also invested heavily into new build smaller stores. An
increasing amount of these smaller stores, including some of the
former Netto stores have added petrol stations. And, with the
acquisition of other smaller stores from competitors, existing
customer cafes inherited from former rivals have been converted to an
Asda Cafe or Express Diner. Some new build
Asda supermarkets are also
adding these facilities. With the introduction of the new
Asda logo in
2015, the 'supermarket' branding is being removed as the company is
only using the refreshed
Asda logo on exterior signage regardless of
store size and format. All stores will adopt this uniform policy by
2019. As of 31 January 2018, there are 211 supermarkets.
In April 2017, the former Netto and by then small
Market Weighton Asda
supermarket was permanently closed due to poor trading.
Asda Living branch in Leeds.
In October 2003,
Asda launched a new format called '
Asda Living'. This
is the company's first "general merchandise" store, containing all its
non-food ranges including clothing, home electronics, toys, homewares,
health, and beauty products. With these stores they have linked up
Compass Group who operate the coffee shop Living Cafe within some
of the stores. The first store with this format opened in Walsall,
West Midlands. As at 31 January 2018, there are 33 stores with an
average 2,600 m2 (28,000 sq ft) sales selling an
average 23,000 non-grocery products in-store.
In 2004, the George clothing brand was extended to a number of
standalone George stores on the high street; the first George
standalone store to open was in Preston. In 2008, all George
standalone stores were closed due to high rental costs resulting in
low profitability. The Folkestone,
Crewe branches were
kept open as they are located next to the
Asda store. The Manchester
Fort store was converted into an '
Asda Living' store.
Asda announced its intention to establish a small number of
pilot George stores. In January 2012
Asda announced that it had
agreed to terms with two franchise partners to open international
George stores. Through the agreement with SandpiperCI, based in the
Channel Islands, the company will be responsible for opening George
franchises in both Jersey and Guernsey, and through the Azadea Group,
headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, the George franchise stores would
open in the Middle East. The opening of the first George stores in
both regions are expected before the end of 2012.
In April 2006,
Asda launched a new trial format called 'Asda
Essentials' in a former Co-op store in Northampton, followed by
Pontefract a month later. This was the old Kwik-Save
building for Pontefract. The stores were modelled on France's
Leader Price chain, with a smaller floorplate than Asda's mainstream
stores and with a primary focus on own-brand products, only stocking
branded items that were perceived to be at the "core" of a family's
weekly shop with the aim being to challenge the dominance of
Sainsbury's in the convenience store market while at the same time
addressing competition from discount supermarkets such as Aldi, Lidl
and Netto. On 6 December 2006,
The Guardian newspaper reported
that further planned store openings were under review following poor
sales in the existing outlets, while the range of branded products
being carried was also being expanded due to customer demand. In
January 2007 it was announced that the original trial store would
close within a month after only 10 months of trading. The
Pontefract store continues to trade and is now part of the Asda
Asda trialled a new standalone petrol filling station format
(which means that they are not attached to or near an existing Asda
store) at two locations in Sale, Greater
which is located near to their head office. They include a small
convenience store and click and collect facilities. The trial was a
success and in 2014, a full roll out of this format was announced
after a third site opened in Northolt, West London. In February 2015,
15 petrol filling stations were acquired from Rontec Ltd, and
converted to the new format.
Asda originally aimed to have at least
100 standalone forecourts by 2018. However, in October 2015, the
company decided to slow the roll out down to address the problems
associated with a major collapse of profits from its large store
formats due to intense competition from its main rivals. But, the
company is still continuing to add a combination of fully automated
credit/debit card payment only petrol stations and petrol stations
with traditional forecourt shops within the car parks of its existing
store portfolio and to new store sites.
Asda was also the first supermarket chain in the United Kingdom to
sell petrol at its old Halifax store in 1967, which at the time was
located inside a converted mill in Battinson Road which burnt down
during a major fire in 1982, and subsequently reopened as a
purpose-built store in 1983, but it no longer offered a petrol
station. The store moved to a different site in 2004. Back then its
forecourt fuel was supplied by discount Russian supplier Nafta,
because the major oil companies would not supply fuel to be sold at
discount prices. From the early seventies, oil companies such as
Mobil, Shell and Texaco supplied fuel to
Asda as more supermarkets
started to sell fuel from car park forecourts. Since the mid-1990s
Asda has supplied, along with its main supermarket rivals, its own
fuel delivered by its own tankers to its petrol station forecourts.
Since October 2017,
Asda operated 311 petrol stations in total, most
within the car park area of its stores. And, as of 31 January 2018,
that includes 25 standalone petrol stations.
Brands and services
Asda Smart Price
Asda's former Smart Price logo, used until 2012
See also: Value brands in the United Kingdom §
Asda Smart Price
Asda Smart Price is a no-frills private label trade name. The
equivalents from the three other big supermarkets are
Sainsbury's Basics and
Morrisons M Savers.
Between 2000/2001, the Smart Price brand replaced the
Asda Farm Stores
budget brand which had been introduced, at first initially, into some
underperforming stores back in 1993. They had consisted of products
that were offered at a lower price than the equivalent famous name
brand product and Asda's own brand equivalent. The Farm Stores brand
originally consisted of a small number of food only products,
including fresh pies and quiches, pre-packed cooked meats, dairy
products such as pre-packed cheeses, yogurt and cottage cheese and a
selection of frozen foods such as frozen chips, burgers, ice cream and
a small range of ready meals. The range later expanded to include
selected fresh fruit and vegetables, tinned goods and household
cleaning products and detergents.
Smart Price products are almost always the lowest price option (known
as Our Lowest Price) in a product category in
Occasionally this difference is only a few pence, however in others it
is a marked difference. For example, a box of Smart Price Biological
Washing Powder costs 50 pence while the equivalent
washing powder costs £1.50 and well known name brand alternatives
cost from £2 upwards.
The Smart Price label was originally a food only brand, however it has
since expanded to cover various product ranges within the store,
including some household goods and kitchenware. Like early generic
products in the US some Smart Price products lacked what can be
thought of as 'frills' in the modern brand name or supermarket own
brand, for example Smart Price toothpaste had an old fashioned screw
cap rather than the now more common flip cap and the Smart Price range
of crisps was originally packaged in traditional clear plastic bags
rather than the foil bags common to most name brand versions, they
changed over to foil bags during one of the brands several relaunches
in subsequent years. There are now no longer any Smart Price branded
dental or toiletry products on sale. And, as of 2015, all kitchenware,
own brand electrical and household goods are now part of the George
Asda's Smart Price logo and packaging has changed several times since
its introduction in 2001. In 2012, it was revised to match the
branding of the
Walmart Great Value line, but a further redesign
in 2014 removed any similarity in visual style.
Since the autumn of 2016, most fresh food Smart Price products have
been phased out and replaced by better quality products under the
Baker's Selection, Butcher's Selection, Fishmonger's and Grower's
Selection sub-brands, and the core
Asda own label branding. This is
the decision of the new management team to focus on better quality
food products and improve customer perception of the quality of
products on sale within the stores. The Smart Price brand is still
used for a small number of chilled ready meals, a few selected number
of ambient grocery products, and a small number of household cleaning
products and accessories. The Smart Price branded products are
gradually being phased out. The packaging for Smart Price products
since March 2017, now has the pre-1985
Asda logo without the blue
stylised 'a' wave. Which consists of an upper case A and lower case
font for the rest of the logo.
Also, under the new
Asda management team it was decided to reintroduce
the Farm Stores brand on selected fresh food products, as part of the
company's plans to return and reconnect to its core founding heritage.
These products include fresh meat and produce. The Farm Stores brand
was officially relaunched in April 2017.
Chosen By You
Asda relaunched its mid-tier
Asda own label brand, first
launched in 1986, as part of a £100m investment to boost the
supermarket chain and reverse the decline in sales, to the current
name of 'Chosen By You' or its acronym 'CBY' in an effort to change
consumer perception that since the sale of
Asda to Walmart, the
supermarket chain only concentrated on low prices. It was also a move
to reassure customers that
Asda still concentrated on "quality as it
does on price". The new brand name for its own standard range of
products, 'CBY', was designed to acknowledge that the products are
taste tested before putting into production; the testing process
included (as of September 2010) some 40,000 consumers to ensure the
items met the average consumers needs. The 'CBY' brand would be more
upmarket than the 'No Frills' 'Smart Price' range as it represented
Asda own label brand, but would be cheaper than the more
upmarket and premium
Asda 'Extra Special' label which now has new
product lines formulated and added to its ever-growing range in
partnership with the prestigious and widely respected, Leith's Cookery
School of Fine Food and Wine. Following the recession that began in
2009 customers were turning to cheaper supermarket chains, Like Aldi
Lidl to save money, this was the reason
Asda was continuously
losing its market share along with other large retailers, like Tesco,
Morrisons & Sainsburys. 'CBY' was one way Asda's new boss Andy
Clarke, as of May 2010, planned on reviving
Asda and prevent it
significantly struggling to get through the recession. Own brand
products from ranges like 'Chosen By You', 'Extra Special' and 'Smart
Price' accounted for half of Asda's turnover, hence why this was such
a major relaunch.
Since September 2015, with the rollout of the new
Asda logo which
incorporates four of the six yellow
Walmart logo 'sparks' around the
first letter A, the mid-tier
Asda brand packaging is being redesigned
and the Chosen By You logo slogan is being phased out as each product
Asda also ended their partnership with Leith's in the autumn of 2015.
All 'Extra Special' products are created and developed by Asda
speciality chefs based at the product development kitchens within the
Leeds head office.
Since the autumn of 2015,
Asda have introduced four sub-branded labels
including Grower's Selection, for fresh fruit and vegetables.
Butcher's Selection, for all fresh meat, game, and poultry products.
Fishmonger's Selection, for all fresh fish and seafood products, and
Baker's Selection for all bakery items freshly made and baked
Asda won the Quality food retailer of the year award across
all of its own-label ranges, voted for by judges from the Quality food
industry awards. It also won seafood retailer of the
year and fresh turkey retailer of the year.
Asda has its own range of clothing known as George, which was created
and trialled in selected stores in 1989, and officially launched and
rolled out to the main superstore estate in 1990. It replaced the
Asda clothing labels of the seventies and eighties.
This is marketed as quality fashion clothing at affordable prices.
Walmart also sells the George brand in Argentina, Canada, China,
India, Japan, Mexico, and the US (and in South Korea until Walmart
pulled out of that market). George clothing is also sold at four stand
alone dedicated stores in Malta, the first opening in 2013. The label
is named after George Davies, founder of Next, who was its original
chief designer. Davies himself parted company with
Asda in 2000 and is
no longer associated with the brand.
Asda stated that the George range was a £1.75 billion
business, including sales from
Walmart stores in the United States and
Mintel estimate that George is the fourth largest retailer of
clothing in the United Kingdom, after Marks & Spencer, the Arcadia
Group and Next.
Asda was the first supermarket to stock wedding dresses. Part of the
George line, they cost £60 while adult bridesmaid dresses ranged
between £30 and £35, at launch.
Asda also operates a mobile phone network called
Asda Mobile, which
was launched in April 2007. This is provided in partnership with EE.
Asda has a financial services division, similar to those operated by
Sainsbury's and other retailers.
Asda simply attaches its own
brand to products provided by other companies. Services offered
include car insurance (provided by Brightside Insurance Services),
credit cards (provided by Creation Financial Services) and travel
money bureaux (provided by Travelex). The financial services division
of the organisation does not directly sell these services in store and
instead uses the supplier of that product by telephone or
Marketing and management of financial services is co-ordinated in
house and many stores have a financial services co-ordinator,
responsible for promoting the products and ensuring legal compliance.
The Financial Services division is also responsible for gift cards,
Christmas Saver and Business Rewards.
Asda now has 26 distribution depots all across the UK which distribute
across the network of stores. There are depots for chilled foods,
clothing and ambient products, such as carbonated drinks and
Alongside ASDA's distribution supply chain now lives the ToYou parcel
service. In 2015 the store chain announced that it would be
getting involved in click & collect plus returns for online orders
from retailers such as ASOS and Ideal World.
As of March 2009[update],
Tesco has a 30.4% share of the UK grocery
market while Asda's share is 17.5%, followed by
Sainsbury's at 16.1%,
Morrisons at 11.8%.
According to CACI, as of 2006,
Asda has market dominance in 14
postcode areas; DY (Dudley), B (Birmingham), CH (Chester), L
(Liverpool), WN (Wigan), BL (Bolton), BB (Blackburn), LA (Lancaster),
HU (Kingston upon Hull), SR (Sunderland), DH (Durham), NE (Newcastle
upon Tyne), G (Glasgow) and AB (Aberdeen).
Asda currently has 180,000 employees which it classes as 'colleagues',
which is a mixture of full and part-time positions in the stores,
depots and head office locations for
Asda in Leeds, and George in
The company has featured prominently in lists of "Best companies to
work for", appearing in second place in
The Times newspaper list for
2005. It offers staff a discount of 10% on most items (exceptions
include fuel, stamps, lottery, giftcards and tobacco related
The company was fined £850,000 in 2006 for offering 340 staff at a
Dartford depot a pay rise in return for giving up a union collective
bargaining agreement. Poor relations continued as
attempted to introduce new rights and working practices shortly
thereafter at another centre in Washington, Tyne and Wear.
Some compromise was reached by June of that year, when a five-day
strike was called off after
Asda management and the GMB union reached
Relations have improved since, with both
Asda and the GMB marking the
death of a worker together on
Workers' Memorial Day
Workers' Memorial Day in 2010.
In 2013, tens of thousands of
Asda workers across the UK were hit with
a tax complication because of an anomaly in Asda's payroll system.
Asda employees receive their pay every four weeks, which meant,
according to their spokesperson, that once every 20 years they are
paid 14 times a year rather than 13. Whilst most companies handle this
properly, Asda's payroll system did not, which meant that workers had,
through no fault of their own, paid less tax for the year than they
should have. This resulted in most full-time and a small number of
part-time workers receiving a demand from HM Revenue & Customs for
between £72 to £160.
Asda petrol station in Middleton, Leeds.
In the '
Asda price' campaign, customers tap their trouser pocket
twice, producing a 'chinking' sound as the coins that Asda's low
prices have supposedly left in their pockets knock together. The
pocket tap ads were launched in 1977 and over the next 30 years, a
range of celebrities have been "tappers", including from 1978, actors
Paula Wilcox and James Bolam. And later, Julie
Walters, and football player Michael Owen. In the late 1970s, adverts
also included Sitcom actor Leonard Rossiter. In 1980, Carry On
Hattie Jacques appeared in the advert as a school crossing
patrol officer. Between 1981 and 1985,
Asda used the slogan 'All
Together Better' in conjunction with the '
Asda Price' pocket tap
campaign in TV commercials and newspaper and magazine advertisements.
When the new green capitalised ASDA logo started to appear from 1985,
in early 1986 onwards and until early 1989, two slogans were used. The
first, 'You'd be off your trolley to go anywhere else', was replaced
in 1987 by 'One trip and you're laughing'. Celebrities including
Joanna Lumley, Harry Enfield,
Victoria Wood and
Julie Walters featured
in these adverts pushing their trolleys past
Asda counter displays
filmed in more 'exotic' locations to show the broad range of fresh
food products that
Asda offered from countries such as France and
In 1989, and until late 1991, before the reintroduction of the pocket
tap campaign, advertising for
Asda had featured the Fairground
Attraction song "Perfect" with the slogan 'It '
Asda be Asda', which
was based upon the lyrics of the song. When the
Asda Price slogan was
reintroduced in 1992, the strapline Pocket the Difference
(capitalised) was added alongside it. This was replaced by Permanently
Low Prices, Forever in 1996. In that same year every single
had a 'rock of value' boulder with this slogan carved underneath the
Asda Price Guarantee promise into the stonework positioned at their
store entrances. They were removed in 2001, two years after the
Walmart takeover and for a while
Asda adopted their new parent
company's slogan, Always Low Prices. In 2004,
Sharon Osbourne was
selected to be part of a new marketing campaign by Asda; her last
advert was aired in August 2005.
From 1990 to 1992,
Asda were the sponsors of Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
during two seasons in modern times – when they won promotion from
Football League Second Division as
Football League Cup
Football League Cup winners and
finished third in the
Football League First Division (last season
before the creation of the FA Premier League).
In December 1997, the
Spice Girls licensed their name and image to
Asda for the creation of over 40 different Spice Items for Christmas
1997, including goods such as party supplies, official merchandise,
and Spice Girl branded kids' meals in the stores' restaurants. The
Spice Girls reportedly earned £1 million from the deal.
In the smiley face "rollback" campaign, also used by Walmart, a CGI
smiley face bounced from price tag to price tag, knocking them down as
customers watch. The focus of these campaigns is to portray
the most affordable supermarket in the country, a claim that was
challenged by competitors, especially
Aldi and Lidl. In 2006, Asda
advertising was themed around singing children and the slogan "More
for you for less", and the previous tap of the trouser pocket
advertising was reduced to a double-tap on a stylised 'A', still
producing the 'chinking' sound. This included an advert during the
2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup featuring England football player
Michael Owen in
an advert with the children singing Vindaloo. In 2007, the advertising
campaign abandoned the rollback hook in favour of featuring
Victoria Wood and
Paul Whitehouse working as
For Christmas 2007,
Asda reintroduced the "That's
slogan as well as a 'jingle' to some of its adverts, which can
also be heard on its in-store radio station '
In 2008, the company refocused on price with a "Why Pay More?"
campaign both on TV and in stores.
Asda TV commercials in April 2009
focused on price comparisons between
Asda and its rivals, using
information from mySupermarket. The music being used in these adverts
Billy Childish version of the classic
Dad's Army theme tune.
Asda jingle is not included in these, but appeared in a
2008 Christmas advert.
Asda returned to the former pocket tap
adverts in March/April 2009, with the slogan "Saving You Money Every
Asda has been winner of
The Grocer magazine "Lowest Price Supermarket"
Award for the past 16 years, and uses this to promote itself
across the UK. In August 2005, rival supermarket chain Tesco
challenged Asda's ability to use the claim that it was the cheapest
supermarket in the country, by complaining to the Advertising
Standards Agency. The ASA upheld the complaint and ordered
stop using it, citing that
The Grocer magazine survey was based on
limited and unrepresentative evidence as it examined the price of just
33 products, that the survey did not study low-cost supermarkets such
as Aldi, and that their price checker, mySupermarket, doesn't include
Morrisons, which was mentioned a few times. As a result,
longer cites itself as "Officially Britain's lowest priced
supermarket", instead using "Winner: Britain's lowest price
Corporate social responsibility
Asda was the top-performing supermarket in the CRC Energy Efficiency
Scheme Performance League Table, coming in at 37 and beating Morrisons
Tesco at 93, and
Sainsbury's at 164.
Asda has signed up to the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) which
respects workers' rights for freedom of association and a living wage.
Implementing this initiative is difficult, however, because the
concept of a living wage varies by country and the buying strategies
of a major importer like
Asda have an indirect impact on national
minimum wages by obliging governments to set them low enough to stop
businesses from going elsewhere. Industry pressure groups such as
Labour Behind the Label and
War on Want
War on Want have argued that
other budget retailers use unethical labour practices in the
developing world to keep UK prices low.
The National Farmers' Union, representing UK farmers and growers, has
Asda and other major supermarkets have made large profits
and kept consumer prices low "by squeezing suppliers' margins to the
point where many of them have gone out of business".
also refused to sign up to and donate to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust
Fund, to donate compensation to the families of workers in Bangladesh
killed when their factory building in Rana Plaza collapsed in 2013.
Asda donated an undisclosed sum to the poverty relief charity
Building Relationships Across Communities, who in turn pledged around
£1.3m to the fund. Campaigners believe
Asda is unwilling to set a
precedent on indemnity pay for large scale industrial accidents.
In 2009, Asda's
Valentine's Day roses, sold at £2 for a dozen, were
said to be ethically sourced by the supermarket. This claim went
against research carried out by War on Want.
Call for boycott
In October 2010, Chairman Andy Bond was a signatory to a controversial
letter to The Daily Telegraph, which claimed that "The private
sector should be more than capable of generating additional jobs to
replace those lost in the public sector, and the redeployment of
people to more productive activities will improve economic
performance, so generating more employment opportunities." This was
followed by calls[by whom?] for a boycott of Asda, as well as the
companies represented by the other signatories to the letter on the
grounds that "Companies that support the CSR are failed corporate
In January 2018
Asda became the first supermarket to ban selling
energy drinks such as
Red Bull to under 16's. 
Asda sponsored English football team Sheffield Wednesday for their
1991 Rumbelows Cup final win against
Manchester United. Also, Asda
sponsored Accrington Stanley in the 1998–99 season.
Kwik cricket for Kids.
Asda supports six main charities through its stores:
Tickled Pink - Launched in 1996, celebrated its 20th year in 2016,
this helps two breast cancer charities –
Breast Cancer Care
Breast Cancer Care and
Breast Cancer Now (formerly Breast Cancer Campaign) Since it started,
they have raised over £50 million as of 2016.
Tommy's - funds research to find out why things go wrong in pregnancy
and birth, and provides information free of charge 
Children in Need
Children in Need 
Everyman - a campaign charity since 2011.
Fields In Trust - charity partnership from 2010 - 2012. The Challenge
aims to protect outdoor recreational spaces, to create a permanent
living legacy of both the
Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the
Asda Foundation - supporting local causes of
Asda store workers, with
projects supported across the UK.
Dairy price fixing
In December 2007, Asda,
Sainsbury's and other retailers and dairy
firms admitted to the price fixing of dairy products between 2002 and
2003. The price fixing operation was calculated to have cost
consumers around £270 million.
Asda commented, "Everyone at
Asda regrets what happened, particularly
as we are passionate about lowering prices. Our intention was to
provide more money for dairy farmers, who were under severe financial
pressure at the time." In total,
Asda was fined
£18.21 million by the
Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading for its part in the
False and misleading advertising
In 2010, a national press ad for
Asda on a double-page spread was
headed "The big
Asda Rollback" with headings stating "Lower prices on
everything you buy, week in week out" with equal prominence to a
column headed "Lower prices than any other supermarket"; that the
arrows underneath the heading "Lower prices than any other
supermarket" compared prices at
Asda with prices at Sainsbury's, Tesco
and Morrisons. The ASA ruled that in the context in which it appeared,
it was ambiguous in that it could be interpreted either as referring
to price reductions that had taken place within
Asda or to price
comparisons with the named competitors. In addition, because the ad
did not explain that the price reductions had not necessarily taken
place in the week that immediately preceded the ad, they concluded
that the headings which stated the number of price reductions that had
taken place in each product category were misleading. The ASA also
concluded that the "Lower prices than any other supermarket" claim in
the advert was misleading.
The ASA disagreed, and referred to the claim "Everything is at least
half price!" was likely to imply to viewers that all toys were
included in the sale. As all toys were not included in the sale, and
in the absence of a qualifying statement, the ad was misleading.
The ASA ruled that a television advertisement in 2011 for the new Asda
price guarantee was misleading in that the small on-screen text that
stated "Exclusions apply" was not sufficient to warn viewers that the
Asda price guarantee did not apply to non-grocery items.
The ASA also ruled against two national press ads one which showed
hardback and children's books and one that showed football related
items with text stating "If your grocery shopping could have cost less
elsewhere we'll give you the difference - Guaranteed!". Although each
advert had "Exclusions apply" and that other text stated "If your
grocery shopping could have cost less elsewhere we'll give you the
difference", it felt that given the prominent appearance of the
hardback and children's activity books and football related items and
the prominent appearance of the logo "ASDA Price GUARANTEE" and
"Guaranteed!", they considered the footnote and other text referred to
above was not sufficient to warn readers that non-grocery items
particularly those included in the advertisement were not included in
Asda price guarantee.
Another advertisement from Asda, in which it featured World Cup
related products and an
Asda price guarantee was misleading as the
World Cup related products were exclusive to
Asda and not, therefore,
available at Morrisons,
Tesco or Sainsbury's.
In 2009, the ASA challenged whether a press ad which showed a large
green arrow bearing down on a smaller yellow arrow with a crumpled tip
Asda 2955 products cheaper" should set out how the general price
claims made in the ads could be verified by consumers. Because it was
not possible for consumers or competitors to check the products and
prices used in the comparison using mySupermarket.co.uk, and because
the ads did not set out how consumers and competitors could check that
information for themselves, the ASA concluded that the ads did not
satisfy the criterion of verifiability as defined in the 2006 European
Court of Justice ruling, and were therefore in breach of the
The ASA ruled that, due to the significant limitations and
qualifications to the basis of the price comparison which were not
included in the ad, or in the terms and conditions on Asda's website,
the approach taken in making the comparisons was unfair and
A press ad, which appeared on 26 September 2011, was headlined "Only
one supermarket is ... always 10% cheaper or we'll give you the
difference guaranteed". However, at the top of the ad there was a
banner that contained the claims "SALE", "Half Price", "Price Drop",
"50% off", "1/2 price", "cheap" and that part of the headline claim
"... always 10% cheaper" appeared in bold text in the middle of the
ad. The ASA considered the banner, together with the headline was
likely to be interpreted by consumers as claims that referred to the
Asda goods. Since consumers could interpret that claim as one
which guaranteed to refund the difference, should
Asda not be the
lowest on price, the ASA considered the presence of the claim "only
one supermarket is always 10% cheaper" could create the impression
Asda were always 10% cheaper and would be interpreted as a
'lowest price' claim. The ASA therefore concluded that the advert was
misleading. It also noted the footnote explaining the APG contradicted
Asda's absolute claim that they were always the lowest on price, and
that the disclaimer was also misleading.
In 2009, a four-page regional press wraparound included several maps
and images of a proposed development in New Barnet, and described the
benefits the development would bring to the local area. The advert
included a development site plan and map, which marked out the
Asda store, the existing Sainsbury store and the sites of the
proposed, approved and existing
Tesco stores. Because it was not clear
that the marked-out area relating to the
Asda store was for only the
store floorspace, whereas the marked-out area relating to the
Sainsburys store included store floorspace and additional buildings,
and the marked-out area relating to the proposed
Tesco area was not
based on an approved plan, the ASA concluded the advertisement was
2013 horsemeat scandal
See also: 2013 meat adulteration scandal
In 2013, DNA tests revealed that horsemeat was present in Asda's
Chosen By You fresh beef Bolognese sauce, the first instance during
2013 meat adulteration scandal
2013 meat adulteration scandal of horsemeat being found in fresh
March 2009: Voted Innovative Employer of the Year, at the Oracle
Retail Week Awards.
2007 UK petrol contamination
European Marketing Distribution purchasing organization
List of convenience stores
List of department stores
List of hypermarkets
List of superstores
List of supermarkets
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Coordinates: 53°47′32″N 1°32′42″W / 53.79222°N
1.54500°W / 53.79222; -1.54500
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