Marketing themselves as Britain’s lowest priced supermarket, 16 years running, ASDA are a supermarket chain which sells food, clothing, toys and various other services. They also have their own mobile phone network, Asda Mobile, similar to their main competitors Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Though they are based in Leeds, ASDA is owned by American retail company Walmart, and are currently responsible for over 16% of all supermarket sales in the UK.
Like all major supermarket, ASDA specialise in offers such as buy one get one free (or BOGOF), as well as generating many sales through heavily discounted goods, and their own brand groceries too. Many customers will know of their discounts due to the ASDA Price and ASDA rollback campaigns. Most recently, the supermarket has made the ASDA Price Guarantee – in which they allow you to mark the cost of your shopping against those of competitors, and if you could have got your weekly grocery shop cheaper elsewhere, they will give you the money back. This – along with star endorsements from the likes of Julie Walter, Michael Owen and Sharon Osbourne – have made it one of the most popular shops in Britain.
Many of their outlets include in-store bakeries, and even pharmacies, in the effort to allow families to get all they need in one place. Much like Tesco Value, Morrisons M Savers and Sainsbury’s Basic, they also make efforts to ensure that those on a budget can afford to shop with their ASDA Smart Price brand. This originated from ASDA’s Farm Stores brand in the mid-90s, but was so successful that they launched it across their 500 UK stores. The line includes cheap, own-brand version of everything from frozen chips through to ready meals, washing powder and clothing.
Inline with other supermarkets, ASDA also has its own clothing range. Called George – much like Tesco’s Florence and Fred – it has become a staple of many British family’s wardrobes. Named after the original designer – George Davies, founder of next – it offers high quality, low cost clothing for families on the go, and was the first supermarket range to do a line of wedding dresses – showing ASDA’s commitment to budget clothing.
Though many of their locations are the classic, supermarket format, they have various different versions of their stores open. The largest are ASDA Walmart Supercentres, of which there are currently around 30 of in the UK, with the more common ASDA Superstores being perhaps the most recognisable layout of the Leeds based chain’s stores – with another variation, ASDA Supermarkets, being a smaller version of these. There are also ASDA Living (which focusses on non-food items, clothing and home wares), George Stores (exclusively featuring ASDA’s own-brand George clothing line, mainly based outside the UK), and ASDA Essential (a trial store, aimed at cutting Tesco and Sainsbury’s dominance in the convenience store market, though only one of these remains in the UK) versions of the chain.
One notable way in which Asda differ from their competitors is that they do not run a loyalty card scheme, preferring to take the money that would be invested in such an operation in cutting costs and running offers (Buy One Get One Free). A clubcard scheme was trialled in the 1990’s, but was subsequently cancelled.