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- This article is about the supermarket chain, for other meanings, see ASDA (disambiguation)
ASDA is a chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom offering food, clothing and general merchandise products. It is a subsidiary of the world's largest retailer Wal-Mart and is currently the second largest chain in the UK, after Tesco. However Tesco has a lead of well over 10% in UK grocery market share, and as of 2005 the gap is widening. ASDA is by far Wal-Mart's largest overseas subsidiary, accounting for around half of the company's international sales. ASDA's precise turnover is not disclosed, but based on market share it is in excess of �15 billion.
At May 2005 the company had 265 stores and 19 distribution centres and employed 128,000 people according to its website. The company is also engaged in property development through its subsidiary company, Gazeley Properties Limited.
The name is a contraction of Associated Dairies and was founded in 1965 by a group of farmers from Yorkshire.
ASDA went through a troubled period in the early 1990s, but was then revived under the leadership of Archie Norman, who later became a front bench Conservative MP. He was chaiman of the company during the period 1996–99.
ASDA and their then 229 stores were purchased by Wal-Mart on July 26, 1999.
Following the take over by the U.S.'s Wal-Mart, several "Asda–Wal*Mart Supercentres" have appeared, being some of the biggest supermarkets in the United Kingdom. The first such one appeared at Cribbs Causeway, near Bristol, and opened in June 2000 after converting the hypermarket. It was criticised for its size and being an eye-sore. (Previously the hypermarket had more appealing looks.) They also removed the upstairs caf� in favour of a smaller one downstairs. In November 2004 a refurbishment of the hypermarket was completed, addressing some of the complaints.
In 2005, amid reported concerns from Wal-Mart about a slight slippage in their market share, ASDA changed their chief executive.
ASDA are known for two famous marketing campaigns. The trouser pocket tapping "ASDA price" campaign and the smiley face "rollback" campaign as used by Wal*Mart.
The chief focus of ASDA's marketing campaign is their being the cheapest supermarket in the country — a claim often refuted by the competition especially Tesco. However, for the past seven years, independent surveys have found ASDA the cheapest.
Sharon Osbourne has recently been selected to be part of a new marketing campaign by ASDA.
ASDA lauched its online retailer service in 1998 but was somewhat more cautious about expanding it than Tesco or Sainsbury's. It uses the store based model rather than servicing internet customers direct from its depots. In May 2005 it announced a major expansion of the service which will increase coverage from 30% of the UK population to 60%.
In October 2004 ASDA launched a new format. Called 'Asda Living', it is ASDA's first 'general merchandise' store, containing clothing, home electronics, toys, homewares, and health and beauty products. the first of this format opening in Walsall, West Midlands, and is to be followed by at least two further trial stores.
ASDA have their own range of clothing known as George. These are marketed as being quality fashionable clothing at affordable Asda prices. Wal-Mart also sells the George brand in Germany and it trialling it in the United States, Canada and South Korea.
Many George items bear the "No Excuses Guaranteed — Refund or replace" stickers, however the refund will be the current stickered price if no receipt is available.
- 2001, 2002, 2003 — Voted a top 10 UK employer by the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Employers Survey
- 2002 — Nestl� Social Commitment Award, awarded by peers in the food industry
- Company website
- Company financial services website
- Asda Car Insurance Reviewssv:ASDA
- Flowers from Asda's hothouse - Telegraph.co.uk
- Biss for superstore Asda - Manchester Evening News
- UK consumer group slams supermarket chicken - Food Business Review
- The boy wonder and the fond farewell - Times Online
- Wiseman price freeze earns welcome from dairy farmers - Scotsman
- Asda prepares for new stores battle - PRWeek (subscription)
- Which? slams retailers over shoddy chicken sandwiches - NutraIngredients.com
- Asda staff rally round for Rachel - Evening Telegraph
- Google 'to launch £115 home PC' - Scotsman
- Multiples claim Christmas success - Freshinfo
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