IT’s good to see a no-nonsense straight-talking man at the helm of Leeds-based supermarket Asda.
Leeds has always been justifiably proud of the fact Asda has its roots firmly in our city, but when big brother Walmart put its arm around Asda’s shoulders the supermarket seemed to lose touch with its home town.
But CEO Roger Burnley seems the kind of man not to take that kind of pride for granted. He makes a lot of the loyalty of Asda customers, and makes it clear he’s here for the long-haul and will be judged on that.
He seems to understand that Leeds folk want good value, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest stuff, but the best for the price they’re paying, and that they want to treat themselves to something special every now and then too. Maybe that’s because he understands the Yorkshire psyche.
“Our roots are in Yorkshire and that makes me proud,” he said. “My father and grandfather spent their working lives in park Square around the corner.”
He’s made a commitment to source even more British produce, reduce plastic packaging and reminded us that Asda was the first supermarket to stop selling energy drinks to under 16s. He’s pulled no punches in his interview with the YEP but says he’s after the trust of consumers - and he’s made a good start.