Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announces series of leadership moves in its International division

Bentonville, Ark., 2016-Jun-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today announced a series of leadership moves in its International division.

Andy Clarke, President and Chief Executive Officer at Asda, has decided the timing is right to step aside from his role with the company. Over more than 20 years with Asda, and the last six as CEO, Andy has been a key contributor to Walmart’s success in the U.K., one of the world’s most competitive retail markets. Andy and his leadership team have played a key role in several innovations in the marketplace, such as grocery home delivery and pickup. He has also served as a strong leader for the business during a time of increased competition and heightened customer expectations.

Andy will remain with the business until the end of July, at which point he will serve as an advisor for the remainder of 2016. He will also retain his current role as Asda’s representative in certain functions, namely as president of the IGD, a research and training charity which provides information and best practice to the global food and grocery industry.

With Andy’s departure Sean Clarke will return to the U.K. and Asda, as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 11. Most recently, Sean served in the same role with Walmart China, distinguishing himself by leading growth in a critical market. Sean is one of Walmart’s most experienced executives, with a Walmart career that includes extensive experience abroad including Walmart Japan, Walmart Canada and starting his retail career in the UK at Asda back in 1996. Sean’s leadership will allow Asda to build upon the momentum of Project Renewal and reposition the business in a very competitive market place.

Walmart also confirmed that Roger Burnley will be named deputy CEO and chief operating officer of Asda when he rejoins the business in October 2016. Roger will be a strong support to Sean Clarke having held a variety of senior leadership positions across commercial and operational functions of UK retail businesses. He worked at Asda between 1996 and 2002 and was part of the core team responsible for integrating Asda into Walmart following its acquisition in 1999.

With this move Dirk Van De Berghe, currently President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart Canada will take over leadership of the Walmart China business, effective August 22 pending work authorization. In addition, Dirk will also serve as Regional President for our Asia business, including Walmart Japan. At Walmart Canada, Dirk’s depth of experience allowed Walmart to strengthen its growing food business in the market and complement a highly-successful general merchandise operation. Walmart will announce a new leader for Walmart Canada shortly.

This move will allow Scott Price, currently President and Chief Executive Officer – Walmart Asia to focus exclusively on his additional role as Chief Administrative Officer – Walmart International.

David Cheesewright, president and CEO of Walmart International, said, “Actively managing our global business portfolio is a key element of our international strategy, and we must have the right talent in place to lead our businesses through times of change.

“Sean is one of our most experienced global executives, and through his leadership we will build upon the momentum of Project Renewal to reposition Asda in a very competitive market place. I’m also excited about Roger coming back to Asda, as we view him as a top talent and a future CEO.

“Together with the existing Asda executive team, Sean and Roger will serve as an incredibly powerful team to lead our Asda business. Their complementary skills and combined expertise in the U.K. retail market and globally brings an unrivaled breadth of retail knowledge to Asda.”

Cheesewright continued, “Dirk is well positioned to lead the China and Japan businesses due to his prior roles in Asia and his deep knowledge of the retail business from his time in Europe.”

He also noted that Walmart has a strong track record of growing global retail leaders. “Global talent is one of our best assets – and our commitment to creating opportunities for diverse experiences is why we have some of the best retail leaders in the world.”

Sean Clarke commented on the news: “Rejoining Asda at such a critical point in the development of the UK retail market is both a challenge and a privilege. After spending the last 15 years in Walmart’s global retail markets, I’m looking forward to returning to the business that got me hooked on grocery retail.”

Roger Burnley added: “Asda is a business I know well, and one I’m excited to rejoin at a critical time in its history. I’ve always admired Asda’s passionate colleagues, relentless focus on the customer and its ability to reposition itself in a crowded marketplace. Being part of the world’s largest retailer also presents a huge personal opportunity to work alongside world-class talent, including Sean. I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Walmart International posted strong financial sales performance at its Q1 FY17 earnings update. 10 of Walmart’s International 11 markets posted positive year-on-year sales results, with 9 of those markets growing comp sales by more than 4 percent on a constant currency basis.

Notes to Editors:

You can read the detail of Walmart International’s Q1 FY17 performance here: http://stock.walmart.com/investors/financial-information/quarterly-results/default.aspx

About Walmart:

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,527 stores under 63 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

Press Contact:

Call 1-800-WALMART (925-6278)

Source: Walmart

Asda’s Income Tracker: The average UK household had £200 a week of discretionary income in April

  • The average UK household had £200 a week of discretionary income in April – £12 more than in April 2015 – and the highest figure recorded since the Asda Income Tracker began in 2008
  • Year-on-year growth in spending power has remained above £10 per week for a full year and a half, marking 18 consecutive months of double-digit growth for families’ bank accounts
  • While wage growth slowed slightly, a drop in inflation last month helped to ensure another boost to spending power

LEEDS, England, 2016-May-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Family bank balances received another boost in April, with discretionary income reaching £200 a week according to Asda’s latest Income Tracker – an all time high since the tracker was established in 2008.

The data revealed that families enjoyed a £12 (6.3%) a week boost to spending power compared to April last year, with this rise marking the 18th consecutive month of double-digit growth.

Contributing to this latest increase in disposable cash was a fall in the overall levels of inflation. Consumer price inflation dropped to 0.3% – the first fall in the headline rate of inflation since 2015 – while essential item inflation fell by -0.2%, helping to mitigate the effects of slowing wage growth.

In fact, annual wage growth for families remained below the levels recorded a year ago, in spite of regular pay increasing by 2.1% between January and March. However, this is likely to change in the coming months following the introduction of the National Living Wage in April.

Looking across other areas affecting inflation, there was an annual drop in the price of transport (-1.3%) and vehicle fuels (-7.5%). And it wasn’t just domestic travel that benefitted last month. With a 3.2% fall in the cost of air transport prices over the past year, it gave holiday-makers a great opportunity to escape to warmer climates.

Meanwhile, changes to social housing rents also contributed to the overall drop in inflation. Following the Government’s announcement last summer, housing associations have started to cut social housing rents by 1% annually from April this year.

In contrast, prices for cultural events and services rose by 3.8% between March and April, making it more costly for those families heading to the cinema or streaming their favourite series. However, food and drink prices are down -2.5% on last year, helping to ease the impact of these price increases.

Overall, the April Income Tracker demonstrates that as discretionary income continues to grow month on month, the outlook for households remains positive. This is despite uncertainty in business confidence due to the upcoming EU Referendum.

Andy Clarke, Asda president and CEO said: “April was the first time that discretionary income reached the £200 level since the Asda Income Tracker began, which is a significant milestone for consumer spending power. Double-digit growth in household income is clearly good news for UK consumers, although we continue to see them take a prudent approach to spending on every day items.

“Looking ahead, the outlook remains cautiously optimistic, which is encouraging and should give consumers a boost as we head into summer. Although, whilst inflation is likely to recover over the coming year, the uncertainty over the EU referendum makes it difficult to forecast long term consumer confidence.”

Sam Alderson, Economist, Cebr, said: “Uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the UK’s referendum on EU membership and the underlying health of the British economy have weighed heavily on the confidence of businesses in recent months.

“In contrast, the continuation of increasing household spending power has helped keep consumer confidence robust. As such, activity in the consumer side of the economy appears to have ridden the series of turbulent economic waves seen since the start of the year much better.”

Read the full report here.

TV Chef James Martin announces new venture with leading supermarket Asda

LEEDS, England, 2016-May-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Thursday 28th April) James Martin announces a new venture with leading supermarket Asda, bringing the much-loved chef back into British kitchens with a commitment to making it easy for people to enjoy great tasting, quality food no matter what their budget.

Both from Yorkshire and proud of their northern roots, Asda and James will be cooking up a storm together in the coming months, giving food inspiration to families every day of the week throughout summer.

The partnership is part of Asda’s Project Renewal blueprint to transform its business and boost its Save Money Live Better brand strategy as the retailer looks to differentiate itself with customers both in stores and online.

The first campaign, which will be masterminded by recently appointed Saatchi & Saatchi, is due to hit in June across multiple channels from TV to digital and in-store, with a second burst taking the partnership through the key Christmas trading period and beyond.

James Martin said: “To me Asda represents everyday kitchens up and down the country and that’s why this partnership comes from the heart. I can’t think of a better way to offer inspiration to busy families looking to cook up simple, tasty meals on a budget while still having time to enjoy life!

“As a born and bred Yorkshire man, I’m also looking forward to getting back to my roots to help people realise that low prices doesn’t mean low quality. Mine and Asda’s values go hand-in-hand, so heading into summer it’s all about cooking up a fresh new approach to food for customers every day of the week – watch this space!”

Andy Clarke, Asda’s President and CEO said: “This partnership is all about a meeting of minds when it comes to the core values of our customers, making James Martin a natural fit for Asda. We’re excited about working together to showcase exactly what Asda stands for, which is delivering quality food at everyday low prices and has been since we opened our doors over 50 years ago.

“We know that our customers lead busy lives and want to make the most of family time together, we also know that they are constantly looking for inspiration when it comes to meal solutions and at prices they can trust. Together with James we’re committed to going the extra mile to make this summer the best yet for our shoppers.”

Asda’s Income Tracker: UK families enjoyed double-digit increase in spending power last month vs the same month last year

  • The average UK household had a weekly disposable income of £197 in February, £12 more than in February 2015
  • Annual growth in spending power remained in the double digits in pound terms for the sixteenth consecutive month due to high wage growth
  • Wage growth remained the biggest contributor to increased household discretionary income, an increase of 2.2%
  • Essential item inflation reached 0% last month, the first non-negative reading since January 2015

LEEDS, England, 2016-Apr-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — Asda’s latest Income Tracker has revealed that families across the UK enjoyed another double-digit increase in spending power last month, with disposable income for UK households reaching £197 a week.

February’s figure is an increase of £12 (6.7% annual increase) compared to the same month last year, as the added boost in discretionary income grew for the first time month-to-month since September 2015.

The latest figures mean this is the sixteenth consecutive month of double-digit increases to family bank balances, with wage growth being the main contributor to the impact on British purse strings, rising over 2% compared to the same time last year and standing well above inflation.

Meanwhile, the outlook remains positive as interest rates are predicted to stay low for a while longer, and low mortgage rates are also likely to provide more welcome warmth to wallets across the UK.

Employment rates also continue to look encouraging. The unemployment rate in February was low at 5.1%, and the number of people out of work, receiving the Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit, has fallen to its lowest number since 1975, dropping 2.5% on January and 12.5% on the same period last year, as more and more Britons entered the labour market.

Andy Clarke, Asda President and CEO, said: “Households across the UK continue to see a rise in their discretionary income with the falling cost of essentials including food and fuel providing consumers with more good news for February.

“We’ve also passed a milestone in the economy, with spending power growth remaining in the double digits for sixteen consecutive months, positive trends in employment growth and wage increases all likely to continue to help the nation’s pockets – it also sets a positive picture for the months ahead which is encouraging for the macro economy.”

Other statistics from Asda’s Income Tracker include inflation on essential items, which reached 0% in February – marking the first month in over a year where there hasn’t been deflation on basic goods. However, while prices increased across health (2.0%) and education services (4.8%), a drop in the cost of food (-2.3%) provided welcome relief for British households when it came to spending on basics such as bread, meat, fish and dairy products.

Adding to the downward pressure on essential item inflation were falling transport costs (-0.7%). Low fuel prices had the single biggest effect on low inflation rates and continued to provide commuters and travellers with more spending money at the pumps when filling up their tanks, with fuel dropping 7.3% on the same time last year. A decline in the cost of second hand cars also added to the reduction on overall inflation levels.

As consumers made the most of low prices, Asda’s Income Tracker shows that consumer spending was probably influenced by special Valentine’s celebrations. Those splashing out on a cozy restaurant dinner or spontaneous weekend away played a big role in contributing to the positive rate of headline inflation, with the cost of dining out and hotels rising by almost 2% in February – the highest rate since early 2015.

Looking to the months ahead, the trend of low interest rates is set to continue following the recent announcement by the Bank of England that a return to the 2% rate of central inflation remains unlikely, due to weak inflation, slow wage growth, and the impact of global events such as the EU referendum in the summer.

Kay Neufeld, Economist, Cebr, said: “In February, the growth rate of family spending power picked up again after decreasing for four months due to an increase in earnings growth, rather than because of decreasing costs of essential items. With the unemployment rate as low as 5.1% and the National Living Wage around the corner, we can expect to see further increases in average earnings in the next months.

“However, in the 2016 Budget Chancellor George Osborne was recently forced to acknowledge the numerous threats to economic growth which are looming on the horizon. From weak demand abroad, to low productivity growth at home and the uncertainties surrounding the EU referendum in June, families will still be concerned about the economy and what that means for the money in their pocket. But the good news is that we still foresee increased spending power in the coming months.”

Read the full report here.

The average UK household’s weekly disposable income up £12 in January 2016 vs January 2015 – Asda

  • The average UK household had a weekly disposable income of £197 in January, up £12 on January 2015
  • Annual growth in spending power fell for the fourth consecutive month – due to a slow down in wage growth and a continued increase in inflation
  • Still, as household incomes continue to increase faster than the cost of essential items, outlook for UK family spending power remains positive

LEEDS, England, 2016-Mar-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Families across the UK enjoyed another double-digit increase in spending power in the first month of the year, according to Asda’s latest Income Tracker. As employment across the UK continued to rise, the average UK household discretionary income reached £197 a week in January 2016, up £12 (6.7% year-on-year) compared to the same time last year.

However, the latest findings also revealed that, while bank accounts continue to receive a boost, January marked the fourth consecutive month where the year-on-year rate of spending power growth has fallen, thanks to a slowdown in wage growth and a steady increase in inflation. While the economic outlook remains relatively positive, Asda’s latest Income Tracker suggests that a slowing rate of recovery is having a knock on effect on British purse strings, with disposable income set to continue to grow at a slower rate than those seen through much of 2015.

Things are looking up for job seekers across the UK, with employment figures of 74.1% being at their highest rate since before the financial crash. Yet, wage growth continues to slow, with average weekly earnings rising by just 2.0% year-on-year.

Inflation is also impacting on purse strings. Despite deflation shaping the cost of many household goods, and outgoings including petrol down, overall inflation has grown for a third month in a row – now at its highest since January 2015, reaching 0.3%. What’s more, this trend is predicted to continue in 2016, though the overall rate of inflation is expected to remain relatively low with falls in oil prices and other commodities set to continue and a competitive retail environment likely to place downward pressure on prices.

Still, it’s a positive picture for families across the UK, with average household income continuing to grow considerably faster than the cost of essential items. In the first month of 2016, the year-on-year price growth for essential items remained steady at -0.1%, with prices falling between December and January on items including food, drink and fuel, as well as clothing a footwear thanks to the early New Year sales. All welcome relief for families as they look to spend more on activities together, such as eating out, in 2016.

Some transport costs have also had a surprisingly positive impact on pockets. Those looking to escape to warmer climates and make the most of cheaper overseas travel in January, were in luck with a considerable fall in transport costs. In contrast to December 2015 when travellers faced a sharp price hike (46%) in airfares over the festive period, last month fares dropped significantly compared to the same period last year. Prices were 2% cheaper year-on-year, helping to provide a healthy boost to holiday spending money to combat the January blues.

Andy Clarke, Asda President and CEO, said: “Another double-digit increase in disposable income in January gave a welcome financial boost at a tough time of year. In juxtaposition, annual growth in spending power fell year-on-year for the fourth consecutive month.

“The good news is that the outlook for 2016 is positive for UK households, with incomes increasing and employment buoyant. Whether families choose to save their extra income or boost spending on leisure, treats or everyday essentials remains to be seen. The good news for consumers is that the competitive retail environment is translating to lower prices across the board.”

Sam Alderson, Economist, Cebr, said: “Although growth in family spending power has declined in the latest data, the overall picture is positive. UK consumers have much more money to spend than a year ago.

“We expect continued falls in unemployment as well as rising earnings growth over the coming months. Combined with sustained low inflation, households should be in for a good time in 2016 as far as their finances are concerned. This comes despite broader concerns over the strength of the UK economy.”

Read the full report here.



British spending power slows ahead of 2016 – Asda’s latest Income Tracker

LEEDS, England, 2015-12-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Families set for a festive hangover despite double digit increase in disposable income for 13th consecutive month.

  • Average UK household had £193 of discretionary income last month, up by £14 a week compared to November 2014
  • Despite 13th month of double digit increases in disposable income, rate of growth slowed – from an average of £17 a week enjoyed throughout the rest of the year
  • 2015 review shows spend on big-ticket items up in the first three quarters of 2015, with spending on vehicles increasing 11.5% compared to 2014
  • Family fun remained a focus with spending on recreational and cultural activities rising 8.3% ahead of the festive period

With the nation ready to pop its cork on New Year’s Eve, Asda’s latest Income Tracker shows families will have something to celebrate – discretionary income reached £193 in November, up by £14 (7.7%) on the same time last year. This marks the 13th consecutive month of double digit increases.

However, as Santa steers Rudolph back to the North Pole it’s not just reindeers being reined in – Asda’s Income Tracker shows November’s £14 extra spending boost fell short of the £17 average we’ve seen during the rest of 2015, thanks to just a slight increase in inflation that is expected to continue into the New Year.

Still, the extra boost to wallets powered spending throughout 2015. Between January and September consumers spent a massive £861bn – up from £835bn for the first three quarters of 2014. But with Brits spending less on stocking their cupboards, many instead treated themselves to big-ticket items – particularly in the first half of 2015. The number of people who bought new wheels increased significantly with spend on car purchases up 11.5% compared to the first three quarters of 2014. Splashing cash on jewellery and watches also proved popular, increasing 9.1% on the same period last year.

It was out with the old around the home; with a 6.6% increase in spend on furniture since 2014. While gardens also benefitted from the seeds of recovery, with an 8.7% year on year rise in spending on gardens, plants and flowers in the first three quarters of the year.

However, shoppers didn’t limit their spending to material goods. As the festive season comes to a close, a review of Asda’s Income Tracker shows that Brits devoted more of their budget to dining out at restaurants and cafes with loved ones in 2015, up 2.1% compared to the same period of 2014.

Buoyed further by the steep fall in vehicle fuel costs, down 12.9% compared with a year ago – other recreational and cultural activities also enjoyed a boost of 8.3% in the first three quarters of 2015, with recent pantomime and party outings likely to contribute to strong growth over the year as a whole.

Asda President and CEO, Andy Clarke, said: “The good news for customers is that pressure on household budgets has clearly eased in the run up to Christmas as a direct consequence of decreases in the cost of food, fuel and energy prices. There are also indications that customer spending has shifted this Christmas with households spending less on food and drink in 2015 compared to last year and instead families are using their increased spending power on leisure and festive fun which is understandable after a period of financial uncertainty.”

Sam Alderson, Economist, CEBR, said: “While growth in spending power has slowed to its lowest level in the past 12 months, the boost is still considerable – particularly given that spending power has risen on an annual basis for over two years. Buoyed by these increases, households have increased spending over the past year – particularly on big ticket items such as jewellery and household appliances.”

You can read the full report here.



Asda announced exclusive three-day (Friday 27th November) fuel price drop of four pence per litre

  • Drivers filling up at any of Asda’s 273 filling stations across the country will only pay 99.7ppl on unleaded and 103.7 ppl on diesel across the weekend
  • 4ppl price cut takes unleaded below £1 – the first time since summer 2009
  • Announcement follows Asda’s commitment to invest £26m in savings throughout the festive period

LEEDS, England, 2015-11-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following the news that the Chancellor held off a price increase on fuel duty, Asda has today (Friday 27th November) announced that it will give its customers a seasonal boost on top of the freeze by investing in an exclusive three-day price drop, knocking 4 pence per litre off fuel, meaning unleaded prices drop below the £1 mark to 99.7 pence per litre.

Asda President & CEO Andy Clarke had urged the Chancellor to continue with the freeze in the March Budget following feedback from Asda Mums that an increase would put pressure on household finances. So the confirmation this week that a freeze would remain in place was welcome news.

In the latest Mumdex report, Asda mums have made it clear what the Government needs to focus on by issuing a call to action to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement to prioritise several key areas including, imposing a limit on energy and utility prices and increasing the personal tax allowance, along with a continued freeze on fuel duty.

Asda’s announcement today will be an additional boost for customers in the run-up to the festive season, meaning there’s more left over to spend on the things that matter at this time of year. Effective from Friday 27th November until Sunday 29th November, motorists will benefit from cheaper fuel prices throughout the weekend as unleaded falls to a new record eight year low. Asda will revert back on Monday to a market leading price of 103.7p on unleaded and 106.7 ppl on diesel.

Asda President and CEO, Andy Clarke said: “The Chancellor’s freeze on fuel duty is what our customers were hoping for. We’re adding a further boost by investing in a three day fuel price drop meaning drivers can now benefit from fuel as low as 99.7ppl in the crucial run-up to the festive period. We’d urge the chancellor to continue with a freeze on fuel duty in the March Budget to help maintain discretionary income levels for families.”

The latest Asda Income Tracker shows that vehicle fuel inflation has dropped -14.1% compared with this time last year in fact at Asda the price has dropped 20p across the same period.


Asda reports its third quarter trading figures for 2015

LEEDS, England, 2015-11-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Asda today reported its third quarter trading figures for 2015, posting a 4.5% fall in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to 30th September.

Speaking in London today, Asda President and CEO Andy Clarke said:

“There’s no doubt this represents another challenging quarter. Sales volumes remain under pressure from price deflation and the intensely competitive background remains throughout the food sector. Having said that, we have the financial strength and clear plan to sustain us through this period, while we take appropriate and considered action to further strengthen our competitive position.

“Last month I launched Project Renewal, an 18-month programme designed to work parts of my five year strategy harder to return us to long term, sustainable volume growth. Increasing our focus on the core business means strengthening some areas while pausing activity in others which will allow us to sharpen our customer offer and continue to improve operational efficiency.

“I’m confident that by reinforcing our offer we can further extend our price advantage over major competitors and close the gap against the limited assortment discounters – not only on price, but across range, service and quality.”

At the update, Andy gave more detail on Project Renewal and confirmed that he and his leadership team had acknowledged early on the need to evolve the five-year strategy in this volatile market – working on the detail of Renewal up to six months ahead of its launch. This included an in-depth evaluation of the changing behaviour of customers which analysed the way they shop today.

He explained the fundamentals of Project Renewal as getting back to a ‘simpler way of doing business’ in order to ‘deliver market leading value in a way customers will notice.’ Examples of this included working closely in partnership with suppliers on a range review programme to deliver an overall 10% reduction to remove duplication while sustaining choice and ensuring the best quality and the prices to deliver long-term volume growth. Other examples included investment in a refresh of 95 large stores and delivering proposition stores to continue innovating and taking learnings on what really works for customers.

He added: “This is a logical and necessary adjustment of our existing strategy, to better address the immediate challenges and permanent changes the market is facing. It is a slow and costly process to reconfigure any business to meet fundamental challenges on this scale, but I’m clear that only businesses which are well positioned, financially strong and able to efficiently deliver what their customers want can be successful in this environment.”

Joined by his Chief Finance Officer Alex Russo, Clarke spoke to the strength of his leadership team driving the strategy, adding he now had “one of the strongest, most experienced boards in the industry, which is looking forward to welcoming Roger Burnley to the Asda family as the new Chief Operating Officer” next year.

Russo pinpointed key highlights including Back to School and Halloween sales – up 9% and 12% YoY respectively, continued growth in online grocery – sales up 6% in the quarter, and George.com clothing sales growing ahead of the market and up 30%.

In terms of the retailer’s low cost operating model, a focus of the core of Asda’s strategy, Russo announced that store efficiency savings were on track to deliver £100m this year, and efficiencies in logistics will deliver a 3% saving.


Asda’s latest Income Tracker: Brits had an extra £18 a week to spend in August compared to 2014

LEEDS, England, 2015-9-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Families continue to enjoy spending their extra cash as Asda’s latest Income Tracker reveals that Brits had an extra £18 a week to spend in August compared to 2014.

  • The average UK household had £191 a week of discretionary income in August 2015, up by an extra £18 a week (10.7%) on August 2014
  • Fuel prices dropped by 12.9%, giving rugby fans on the road across the country a reason to celebrate
  • The cost of stocking cupboards and fridges for a big night in falls, thanks to a 2.4% drop in food and drink prices
  • Big screens and sound-bars which bring the games to fans see a 9.2% fall in price

Following opening night celebrations and a weekend of sporting excitement, Brits will be enjoying a taste of financial freedom during the Rugby World Cup, with more to spend on enjoying the games with friends and family. Asda’s latest income tracker shows that families now have £191 a week in disposable income, an increase of £18 a week (10.7%) on the same time last year.

And the good news doesn’t stop there. Those travelling the country to support their favourite teams and see the action up close needn’t give a second thought to tackling transport costs, with fuel prices falling 12.9% on August last year and the falling rate of inflation dropping back to 2.6%, making the journey to the game even more enjoyable.

Families choosing to have a big night in and watch the drama unfold from the comfort of their living rooms will also enjoy the benefits of the current economy. With food and drink prices falling by 2.4%, there’s even more reason for consumers to stock up on everyone’s favourite treats for a night in front of the TV cheering their team on!

What’s more, for those rugby fans eager to feel as if they are at the heart of the action, a 9.2% fall in the cost of audio visual equipment sees the average big night get even bigger, with the increase in spending power making it easier to convert the home cinema dream into a reality.

Chief Executive at Asda, Andy Clarke, said: “The economy continues to go from strength to strength and stability in the wider economy remains the key driver behind an increase in disposable income across the UK. Since the economic collapse there has been a shift in behaviour around spending versus saving and even though we’ve seen family’s spending power rise, households are choosing to save more money for a rainy day.

“Events such as this year’s Rugby World Cup provide economies with a shot in the arm and supporters visiting from across the world will be pleased to see that a fall in the rate of inflation across travel, hotel, sports equipment and restaurant are all contributing to an increase in disposable income.”

As more and more Brits celebrate the 10.7% rise in spending power, restaurants and bars continue to benefit from the boost in consumer spending confidence, no doubt looking to build on this as a nation of supporters gets set to celebrate and socialise by dining out.

Sam Alderson, Economist, Cebr, said: “In the wake of the global headwinds emanating from the slowdown in the Chinese economy, further evidence of strong growth in family spending power is welcome news for the UK economy.”

“Even though Christmas is fast approaching, with wages rising at rates well above inflation, households are in a great position to enjoy the autumn months and events such as the Rugby World Cup. ”

Read the full report here.


Arla Foods UK confirms that Asda’s increased price that it pays for milk will be shared directly with its farmer owners

  • First major grocery retailer customer to agree nationwide pledge across all its liquid fresh milk
  • Industry-leading British cheddar labelling introduced to help customers to support British dairy farmers

LEEDS, 2015-8-18— /EPR Retail News/ — Arla Foods UK has today confirmed that Asda’s increased price that it pays for milk, which came into effect this morning, will be shared directly with its farmer owners including 3,000 in the UK.

The retailer’s commitment to carry Arla’s new farmer-owned marque from the autumn on all of its own label fresh liquid milk along with new British cheddar labelling is also welcomed by Arla as a clear demonstration of Asda’s continuing and long-term commitment to British farming.

The product marque will offer consumers the opportunity to easily identify and trust that when they buy own label dairy products they are responsibly sourced from a farmer-owned business where all the profits go back to its owners, and has the highest expectations for animal welfare and environmental standards throughout its supply chain.

Asda is also reconfirming that it is committed to sourcing its own label cheddar using 100 per cent British milk from Arla. This will be supported by an industry-leading move with the introduction of new ‘Made with British Milk’ labelling on product packaging to provide clarity of sourcing.

Arla Foods amba farmer board director, Jonathan Ovens, met with Asda President and CEO, Andy Clarke, this morning to confirm the agreement, which includes new customer communication in all Asda stores to encourage its shoppers to buy British.

Jonathan Ovens commented: “As Arla farmer owners, we asked our major retailer customers to support our responsible sourcing principles and our transparent cooperative model. In announcing its wholesale price increase and carrying the farmer-owned marque, Asda has demonstrated its leadership in driving a solution to some of the challenges that the dairy industry is currently facing.

“Asda has a market driven wholesale price, mechanisms in place to deal with volatility and an ongoing long-term commitment for farmer owners, like myself.”

Andy Clarke added: “Asda was formed by dairy farmers, a heritage that we take seriously and that has informed our decision to make a substantial move to support farmers during the current global milk price crisis as well as agreeing a longer term package of measures going beyond liquid milk.”

Asda sources all of its milk from Arla across England, Scotland and Wales. Asda and Arla have had a ten year relationship which has made a substantial difference to its farmer owners and this is another significant milestone.


Arla Foods UK confirms that Asda’s increased price that it pays for milk will be shared directly with its farmer owners

Arla Foods UK confirms that Asda’s increased price that it pays for milk will be shared directly with its farmer owners