All smiles again at Asda

Asda, the grocery chain owned by Walmart has returned to profitability thanks to the efforts of Andy Clarke, its chief executive. The chain, which is the second biggest supermarket in the UK, will also be hiring some 7500 new employees, mostly to fill job slots at 15 new stores it plans to open in 2011.  The new advances means that Asda rejoins the “big four’ supermarkets, along with Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and Tesco.

When Clarke took the reins he suggested that Asda’s decline was due to the fact that it had not been concentrated enough on its food quality.  Thereafter, the company readjusted its core line, “Chosen by You,” and revamped its special premium ranges. Asda followed this with its price guarantee and continued stellar performance by its fashion line, “George at Asda.”

Clarke says that he is very pleased in the increased performance of the revamped product lines, the continued success of “George” and the addition of the price guarantee.  Clearly, these initiatives have all beefed up the company in prime time for it to compete for the Christmas market.

Since the restart of the “Chosen by You” line, two products in particular have done remarkably well.  The first is the company’s lemon Daisy cupcake, which sold in excess of 200,000 units in its first month.  This performance was quickly matched by the family lasagne, which sold 138 per cent beyond forecast.

The increase in staffing will come, in part, from Asda’s purchase of Danish Supermarket Netto UK stores.  Originally, the company purchased 194 stores, but was forced to get rid of 47 because of competition regulations.