Asda steps up a gear on ambition to ‘lead online’ with expansion plans

Asda steps up a gear on ambition to ‘lead online’ with expansion plans
Asda, the UK’s second largest retailer has today announced plans to grow its online business by expanding its Home Shopping and Click and Collect operation over the next four years
Plans include the acquisition of a fully automated ‘click and collect’ pod technology concept – a UK first that will see customer orders delivered to a temperature controlled unit ready for collection at their convenience
Asda will also refine its online offer for customers to two core sites – Asda.com and George.com – creating a lifestyle site in George.com and offering a more streamlined shopping experience to customers
Asda, the UK’s second largest retailer has today unveiled the latest development in its mission to be the UK’s most convenient online retailer with plans to expand its Home Shopping and Click and Collect operation.

As part of the delivery of its five year strategy, the ambitious move will see the development of three new Asda Home Shopping Centres, an expansion of Click and Collect operations and the merger of Asda’s three shopping websites into two.

In the first instance, Asda will increase the number of its Click and Collect points from 400 to 600, expand its Drive-Thru Click and Collect points to 200 and expand same day Click and Collect services to 100 new sites; bringing the total up to 350.

The retailer has set a strong precedent in developing innovative solutions for busy shoppers with the launch of the first tube station collection points in London, and the trial of automated collection lockers at its Pudsey store in Leeds.

Asda is already the lowest price online supermarket retailer and its growing momentum and leadership in the field of online retail is set to be further bolstered by its acquisition of technology that will bring the first fully automated click and collect pods to the UK. The state of the art technology has been developed in Holland and sees online food and General Merchandise shopping orders delivered to stand-alone temperature controlled units where customers can collect their purchases at a time that is convenient to them. The first pods will be trialled in early 2015.

“In 2013 we set out a five year strategy to redefine value retailing – with a clear ambition to lead online,” said Andy Clarke, President and CEO of Asda. “We’ve already made significant progress in this area and today’s announcement clearly demonstrates our commitment to step up our game even further.

“In what is still a challenging market, I am delighted that we are able to make an investment that will not only step on delivery of our strategy, but also bring new and convenient ways for our customers to shop with us.

“We’re also creating an online experience that logically fits with how our customers want to shop and focuses on the areas that our customers love. Ultimately, we want to give more people access to the price, quality and style that we are famous for.”

As well as investing in expanding its physical presence for customers – a key element of its five year strategy, Asda is also refining its online offer to make shopping even easier. Currently, internet customers use Asda.com to access three online stores: Grocery Home Shopping, George.com for fashion and home and Asda Direct for everything from books to garden furniture to kettles.

From February 2015, 80% of Asda Direct ranges will be merged into Asda’s Grocery Home Shopping and George.com online stores – creating an experience for customers that mirrors their weekly shop.

When the websites merge in February 2015, products such as large electrical and DIY items won’t be available from Asda.com but will continue to be available in Asda Stores. George.com will become Asda’s online lifestyle store. In addition to George fashion and George Home ranges, customers will also be able to access products like toys, garden furniture and baby equipment. The George fashion and Home ranges will also be expanded, applying the George principles of price, quality, affordable style and design, to new areas.