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Good News For Wal-Mart

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, April 17, 2007

Wal-Mart could use some good news and now they’ve got it:

TNS FIGURES SHOW ASDA IS BRITAIN’S FASTEST GROWING RETAILER

Today’s (4 April 2007) TNS figures (12 week) show that ASDA is outperforming the rest of the retail sector for the first time in three years, with year on year growth of nine percent.

The figures draw a firm line under what ASDA has described as a period of recovery during which it re-evaluated its customer offer and pricing strategy as well as attracting one million new customers through its checkouts.

The figures from TNS indicated that ASDA is clearly in the lead when it comes to growth.

The figures which are available from TNS World panel show:

March 25, 2007

RetailerShare of totalShare of GroceryYr on Yr change %
ASDA11.916.99.0
Sainsbury11.616.47.8
Tesco22.031.27.2
Somerfield2.63.7-3.8
Morrisons7.911.13.9

Commenting on the figures, Andy Bond, ASDA’s chief exec said:

“These figures just go to show that when it comes to customers through the door value continues to be king. By delivering fantastic every day low prices across all our ranges be it premium, organic or value we have rekindled the customers’ love affair with ASDA.”

During the last 12 months ASDA has re-launched its:

Premium range Extra Special, its value range Smartprice, its healthy eating range Good for You and tripled the size of its organic range and extended its locally sourced ranges.

In addition it has introduced George Homewares and rolled out its home shopping service ASDA.com

George has launched its most successful range every Must Haves.

The retailer has even started to sell houses.

Although Wal-Mart’s U.K. subsidiary has a long way to go before they catch up to Tesco, this is welcome news in two senses:

First, as Tesco prepares to enter the U.S. market, it indicates that some strategies can work against Tesco.

Second, it holds out hope that with enough innovation and hard work, Wal-Mart might turn around its U.S. operations as they seem to have done in the U.K.

Of course one caveat: A quarter does not a turn-around make, and we will see if ASDA can maintain its momentum in the years ahead.

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