His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew visits world’s first Automated Retail Distribution Centre at Asda’s new facility in Warrington

His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew visits world’s first Automated Retail Distribution Centre at Asda’s new facility in Warrington


Colleagues work alongside state of the art automated technology at the site, which serves supermarkets across Manchester and Liverpool, along with Cheshire, Lancashire and North Wales

LEEDS, England, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, made an official visit to the world’s first Automated Retail Distribution Centre to see the cutting edge technology at the new £100 million Asda facility in Warrington.

HRH was shown around the distribution centre, which is a major investment into the UK retail market by parent company Walmart, by the site manager Tom James, alongside Asda’s Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer, Roger Burnley.

Tom and Roger lead the tour, in which the Prince was looking to learn about how automation is becoming a major part of retail and also what benefits the centre has to the business and the local area.

The warehouse is 97% automated and sees 600 colleagues work alongside robotic technology to process around four million cases per week, serving 140 Asda stores across the North of England and beyond.

The technology ensures that Asda stores in the North West are receiving the correct amount of product for the 18 million customers that visit stores each week, with 100% accuracy.

The automated nature of the facility means that it is also one of the most ergonomically friendly distribution centres in Europe, as colleagues have standing work stations and are assisted by robots and 4.5km of conveyer belts.

The new facility puts Asda and the North of England at the forefront of retail distribution innovation and is set to vastly improve retail productivity and efficiency. At optimum capacity, the site can process 4.9 million cases and up to 8000 lines of product, which makes it the biggest distribution centre in Europe.

Walmart is closely monitoring the operation, with future plans to replicate similar facilities across its vast operations in North America, with the potential to improve efficiency across its US estate by learning from the Warrington site.

It features nine state-of-the-art robotic cranes, which each control 27,000 individual pallet locations and are all able to lift pallets as high as 27 meters, which is higher than any fork lift truck currently can do.

Located on the site of a former World War Two American air base at Burtonwood, the warehouse has a one million square foot capacity because of the unique way its robots can access stock.

The strategic location of the site was selected due to its close proximity to Liverpool’s deep sea port, Manchester Airport and the local rail and motorway networks, which enable direct and efficient delivery and receipt of goods.

Colleagues at the new Asda Warrington Automated Distribution are trained to use and work with the hi-tech machinery. Two colleagues at the new site are Mary Winstanley and Kate Veregan, who explained to the Duke that the centre can receive up to 3000 pallets of product each day, which is split up and sent to different stores across the north of England through 250 delivery drivers.

Roger Burnley, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer at Asda, said: “Our Warrington site really is impressive. Our colleagues do a fantastic job to ensure the depot works at its maximum efficiency to send product to stores across the North of England.

“His Royal Highness was genuinely interested in how the operation works, and was impressed at the innovations we’re pioneering at Warrington. It was great to be recognised for our state of the art technology, which ultimately provides Asda customers with a better shopping experience.”

Tom James, Warrington Depot General Manager, said: “It isn’t often you get a visit from Royalty, but it was extremely exciting to be able to meet his Royal Highness Prince Andrew and show him around our Depot in Warrington. I have walked the tour route a thousand times but I still enjoy seeing the amazement on visitors faces as they walk around, especially when its royalty!”

Source: ASDA


Asda’s NEW Purple Majesty Chips add that ‘wow’ factor to any table

Asda’s NEW Purple Majesty Chips add that ‘wow’ factor to any table


  • Asda launches NEW Purple Majesty Chips
  • Capitalises on the trend for purple food
  • Packed full of powerful antioxidant, anthocyanin

LEEDS, England, 2017-May-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — From acai bowls to purple sprouting broccoli, the trend for purple food in all shapes and sizes has been sweeping the nation. Celebrate with NEW Purple Majesty Chips from Asda, which are set to reign this spring and add that ‘wow’ factor to any table.

These spectacularly looking chips are made from Purple Majesty potatoes which have 100% naturally occurring purple pigment. The colour survives the cooking process to provide purple chips and taste just as delicious as the more familiar creamy white varieties. They’re lightly battered on the outside, adding a crispy coating to the soft and fluffy interior. Simply pop them in the oven for 20 minutes from frozen and enjoy as a side with any dish or even as the main event.

Cut from Purple Majesty potatoes grown in Norfolk and Lincolnshire, these regal delights not only make a real statement on the dinner table, they also have added health benefits too. Purple Majesty potatoes are packed with the powerful antioxidant, anthocyanin, which gives blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants and aubergines their distinctive colour.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick up Asda’s new Purple Majesty Chips and give your family a new twist on an old favourite.

Asda’s NEW Purple Majesty Chips will be available in the frozen aisle in-store and online from 8th May with a RRP of £1 for a handy 500g bag.

Source: Asda


Asda’s July Income Tracker: UK families had £10 more disposable income in their pocket compared to the same time last year

LEEDS, England, 2016-Sep-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — UK families had £10 more disposable income in their pocket compared to the same time last year, according to Asda’s July Income Tracker.

The average disposable income for UK households reached £202 a week, an increase of 5.4% compared to July 2015.

While the latest figures mark the 21st consecutive month of a double-digit rise in spending power, the data indicates that growth has slowed to its lowest rate since October 2014. This decline has been driven by a rise in essential item inflation (0.1%) and a slowdown in wage growth.

Asda’s Income Tracker also shows that there is a growing divide between the highest-earning and lower income households in the UK. In July 2016, the wealthiest 20% of UK families earned an average of £1,890 per week – ten times more than the lowest-earning 20%, who took home £180.

Furthermore, the gross income of the highest-earning households has grown by 2.3% since July 2015 – nearly eight times more than the lowest households.

A breakdown of gross income per bracket with percentage increase (YoY) shows that:

Income Tracker August 2016

But the data highlights that it is not all good news for high-earning families. The rate of inflation in prices of items like, communication, subscriptions, family takeaways and rail travel, means the wealthiest bracket is finding itself spending increasingly more money. Middle income households meanwhile tend to devote a greater share of their income to products such as food and utilities – where prices are falling on a year-on-year basis – meaning they enjoyed the largest increase in disposable income in July, (5.5%) compared to the same time last year.

Elsewhere in the report, it states that the falling value of the pound could lead to higher import prices over the coming months, which is likely to have a knock-on effect on inflation levels as 2017 approaches.

And in the job market, the latest figures are showing that unemployment across the country remains at its lowest level (4.9%) in 11 years.

An Asda spokesperson said: “Our Income Tracker has made for some interesting reading this month. On one hand, it’s encouraging to see that spending power has on average increased by 5.4% since last year, while on the other hand the data demonstrates the significant gap between households when it comes to discretionary income.

“Falling food and drink prices (-2.6%) provided a welcome relief to families’ wallets across the board, and with wage growth remaining above inflation levels for the time being, households are likely to make the most of this again next month”.

Sam Alderson, Economist, Cebr, said: “Household spending growth hung in double digits in July, which -alongside brighter weather – helped to support a strong month of retail spending.

“Despite falls in confidence, the continued improvements in household finances have helped families shrug off much of the post-Brexit concern that has plagued businesses and financial markets. However, the outlook may not be so bright as rising inflation through into 2017 could place significant pressure on household budgets.”

Source: ASDA

Asda’s monthly Income Tracker: revealed UK household enjoyed extra £12 a week on average in June, compared to the same period last year

LEEDS, England, 2016-Aug-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — Families across the UK welcomed another rise in spending power in June, with average discretionary income once again reaching £201 a week, according to Asda’s monthly Income Tracker.

The latest figures revealed that families enjoyed an extra £12 a week (6.2%) on average in June, compared to the same period last year. The increase marks the 20th consecutive month of double-digit growth in spending power, with total average discretionary income remaining at a record level since the Income Tracker began in 2008.

Looking at data from across the UK, the latest figure showed that growth remained above £10 per week in all but two areas, as year-on-year growth ranged from £8 in Northern Ireland to £18 per week in the East of England over the course of Q2 2016.

Contributing to the boost to Britain’s bank accounts was the continued momentum of the labour market. Unemployment across the UK reached its lowest level (4.9%) since July 2005 – down from 5.6% in June last year.

While discretionary income rose overall, the rate of growth in spending power slowed slightly, falling below 7% for the first time in two months. Part of this can be attributed to a rise in consumer price inflation, which reached its highest rate since late 2014 (0.5%).

Transport costs also provided upward pressure on overall levels on inflation, following an increase in the cost of airfares for flights within Europe, as well as a rise in the price of petrol (2.3p per litre) and diesel (2.6p per litre) between May and June.

While essential item inflation remained in negative territory at -0.1%, the falling cost of food and drink helped to ease pressure on purse strings, with prices declining by 0.4% between May and June. In addition to this, larger household expenses such as mortgage interest payments – which fell by 0.2% over the same period – also provided some respite for UK families.

Taking a look across the nation, Welsh households saw the fastest growth in gross income (2.8%) in the second quarter of the year. In further good news, those in the North East welcomed a sharp decline in unemployment in the latest quarter which subsequently saw household income levels boosted by 2.2%. These factors helped raise spending power in these areas significantly, equating to an additional £15 per week in Wales and an extra £11 per week in the North East.

In contrast, there was a sharp fall in spending power growth in the West Midlands, falling from 7.5% to 5.4% between the first and second quarter of the year, attributed largely to a cooling across the region’s labour market in recent months.

Further insights from Asda’s Income Tracker highlighting movements in income levels across the nation revealed that:

  • Households in London saw slower rates of spending power growth compared with the national average, however average discretionary income across the capital (£272) remained well above other UK regions
  • Strong growth in the East of England continues to narrow the gap with London, with the region seeing positive growth (£18 per week) for the third consecutive quarter
  • Scotland’s spending power grew 5.1% on the same period last year, with discretionary income reaching £200 per week
  • Households across Northern Ireland experienced the smallest uplift in income in the latest quarter, with discretionary income reaching £103 a week

Sam Alderson, Economist, Cebr, said: “Whilst the latest data shows a slight slowing in spending power growth, we continue to see a picture of broad increases in discretionary incomes across the country.

“In the uncertain economic environment the UK now faces, the gains in spending power seen in recent years cannot be understated. Whilst consumers have understandably lost some confidence in recent weeks, improved finances should provide some support in navigating the uncertain outlook.”

An Asda spokesperson said: “While a rise in consumer price inflation and transport costs influenced the overall growth in consumer spending power, families across the UK continued to enjoy some buoyancy in their bank balances last month thanks to a continued fall in essential items and steady levels of wage growth.

“Building on this, record levels of unemployment throughout Britain should boost confidence, and it’s pleasing to see that this particular trend has led to upward swings in income growth across the regions and the home nations, as evidenced by the changes seen in the labour markets of the North East of England and Wales.

“With June”s Income Tracker continuing on the positive incline we have been used to over the last year and a half, it remains to be seen how recent events will affect disposable income in the coming months.”

Source: ASDA