YEP says: Difficult times... but Asda may be on the right track

ASDA IS proud of its Leeds roots and the city is equally proud of one of its biggest and best-known companies.

Friday, 20th May 2016, 8:04 am
Updated Friday, 20th May 2016, 9:11 am
Has Asda lost its focus?

So, it pains us all to see the company going through a difficult time. Like-for-like sales have dropped sharply. In fact, it has suffered its biggest ever quarterly sales fall.

Asda said it also saw a five per cent drop in the number of shoppers visiting its stores in the first quarter.

There really isn’t a mystery to it. Shoppers aren’t loyal and they will migrate to rivals, and improvements in price and product availability were not enough to stem the flow.

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But perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom for Asda. The chain said it remained focused on its revival plan, Project Renewal, which is seeing it pump £500 million into cutting prices in a fightback against its Big Four rivals and discounters Aldi and Lidl.

It added it was on track with moves to slash costs, having announced in January it would cut hundreds of UK jobs, largely impacting its Leeds head office.

Andy Clarke, president and chief executive, pledged to show shoppers a “new Asda face” through a revamped marketing push, led by a deal with TV chef James Martin.

Clarke, it seems, is appreciated by industry experts. These are painful times for Asda staff - and customers - so let’s hope Clarke’s plan is a success.