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Wal-Mart writes new chapter in Asda story
17
Apr '10
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. outlined a number of ambitious plans to grow its U.K. operations within the next five years, by taking advantage of new growth opportunities and leveraging its global scale at a meeting for the investment community held at Asda's Home Office.

New chapter for Asda
“It's time to open a new chapter in the Asda story, enabling us to become an even better food retailer; a broader non-food retailer; and a leader in e-commerce. Over the next five years, we have two clear aspirations—to be the market leader in general merchandise and clear number two for food,” said Andy Bond, Asda President and CEO.

“By leveraging Walmart's global scale, our aim is to lower prices even more for our customers,” Bond said. “As a result of our plans, in the future I want people to think of Asda as not just a supermarket, but as a much broader, more diverse retailer, that enables customers wherever they live, or however they want to shop, to access our low prices and extensive range.”

“Walmart's international operations represent the fastest growing segment of our business, and Asda plays a key role in delivering on our three financial priorities of growth,leverage and returns,” said Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Walmart. “Our strong Asda leadership team is working even harder to leverage our global scale and best practices to win locally, not only to drive shareholder returns, but also to help our UK customers save money and live better.”

Growth opportunities
Asda plans to achieve its aim through a combination of maintaining healthy growth in its existing core stores, opening new, smaller supermarkets, the accelerated rollout of its non-food Asda Living format, and by extending its reach online. The George brand will continue to play a central role, with the goal of at least 10 percent of sales coming via george.com by 2013.

Bond, alongside other members of the Asda Executive team who were addressing a global audience of analysts and investors, outlined how Asda has deliberately taken its time to get its format strategy right, and it is now ready to accelerate its store opening program.

“With our new format strategy, our aspiration is to have a chain of 100 smaller Asda supermarkets, helping us reach customers who find it difficult getting to one of our larger stores, and 150 Asda Livings,” Bond said. “Our small stores are proving popular with customers, as they can complete a full weekly shop, while still taking advantage of our market leading low prices.”

Asda will open its 25th Asda Living tomorrow (Friday April 16th) in Telford, Shropshire. Bond added: “Asda Living is already a successful business in its own right, compared to rival non-food businesses on the high street, and we plan to shift up a gear. We've taken our time to get the model right, and wait for the market conditions to be favorable. We're now ready to accelerate our opening program.”

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