Retailers must innovate to survive in changing retail world, says Asda’s CEO

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RETAILERS must innovate or die, Asda’s chief executive Andy Clarke told a major conference in Yorkshire yesterday.

Mr Clarke told the summit in Leeds that innovation in online retailing is being led by the UK, at a time when many consumers are surviving on a tight budget, and using hi-tech devices such as smartphones to place their orders.

He was one of the keynote speakers at the Leeds City Region Retail Innovation Summit, which was held at the Asda MCE centre, in the Old Carlsberg Bottling Plant in Leeds.

The summit, which was supported by Leeds and Partners and UKTI, showed off the region’s rich retail talent and acted as a platform for debate about sustainability and investment.

The event provided Asda with the opportunity to show off one of its latest innovations - a 3D scanning device that can make tiny models of shoppers.

“What’s the importance of having a five inch model of yourself?’’ Mr Clarke asked the audience.

“We’ve just been incredibly surprised by how quickly customers have embraced this piece of technology. In Trafford Park we launched our first 3D scanning booth.

“It has a queue every day. We’ve been surprised at how people want to use it. So it’s grandmothers coming with their grandchildren, so they can watch them grow.”