Associated Dairies also known as ASDA is a chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom offering food, clothing and general merchandise products. A group of farmers from Yorkshire founded the company in 1965 and then later became apart of the Wal-Mart chain on the 26th July 1999. Wal-Mart Stores founded by Sam Walton in 1962, is a large retailer and the for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2005, Wal-Mart reported net income of US $10.
3 billion on US $285 billion of sales revenue (3.6% profit margin). It is the largest private employer in the United States, Mexico and Canada. It holds an 8.9 percent retail store market share which is equivalent to $8.90 out of every $100 spent in U.S. retail stores is spent at Wal-Mart.
(information found at www.asda.co.uk- accessed on the 24th October 2005.)There are currently 260 ASDA stores situated throughout England, Scotland and Wales, ASDA also plans to open stores in Northern Ireland.
Wal-Mart said it planned to spend a further £30m redeveloping the several Safeway stores it bought from Wm Morrison for £73.6m, which will trade under the ASDA name by November 2005 – providing the Office of Fair Trading clears the deal. The company employs around 150,000 people and has links with over 2,800 suppliers. The company is the UK’s second-largest supermarket group following 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 market share it is thought to be in excess of £15 billion.
ASDA has also launched a new store format called ‘ASDA Living’ this store is designed to sell all ASDA’s non-food products.As a supermarket, ASDA does not only sell fresh, frozen, packet and tinned food products from all over the world. It also offers home, leisure, car, entertainment and stationary goods. In addition, the company offers mobile phones and financial services such as car, home, travel, life, pet and mortgage life insurance as well as property. They also offer an over 50’s life cover plan, Asda credit card and store card.
There is even a child trust fund service.There is a clothing section within most of the stores selling the ‘George’ line. George Davies founded ‘George’ in 1990. George has proved to be incredibly successful, largely recognised and can be purchased from over 250 ASDA stores across the United Kingdom. George has now gone worldwide with merchandise selling in Canada, the United States of America, Japan, Mexico, Korea and Germany.
ASDA understands or recognises the needs and individuality of all its customers and tries to cater for each one both inside and outside of the store. Most ASDA’s provide a car parking area for its customers. The spaces closest to the store are designated for families’ with young children and disabled customers. Some stores are equipped with the ‘Spacehog’ scheme, which is a high-tech traffic warden that speaks out and asks people only to use the space if they need it as it is designated for disabled customers.
The scheme allows ASDA to reassure disabled customers that they are making every effort to protect their spaces and to stop illicit parking. There are also sections designed for motorcycle users.Within the store, ASDA has a policy that states that their ASDA brand products such as food and Fruit & Vegetables are of a good quality but if the customer is not delighted with their purchase, ASDA will refund and replace the product.There is the 28-day Guarantee.
If the customer is unhappy, with their purchase, they can return it in its original condition, with proof of purchase, within 28 days of purchase and ASDA will give a full refund or replacement. To qualify for an exchange or refund, products returned need to be complete with all components and original packaging. With Electrical warranty, in addition to the 28-day guarantee, ASDA guarantees all electrical products for a year from the date of purchase.
All the customer has to do is return any faulty product with proof of purchase for a repair/exchange or refund.ASDA offers customers a wide range of trolleys ranging from smaller smart shoppers to larger 175-litre trolley with child seats. Their fleet of trolleys also accommodates the elderly and disabled with low & high wheelchair trolleys that attach to wheel chairs to Senior citizen trolleys, which enables less able customers to get around the store with greater ease.
ASDA offers trolleys for children aged between 5-8 years. ASDA are developing a new scooter that has an elevating seat, enabling disabled customers to reach products on the top shelf as well as products that are lower down.Braille Guns were introduced into new stores for the first time in 1998. Braille Guns are dynamo guns used to label products in Braille for blind customers. As tinned products in particular all feel the same to somebody who is blind, it is invaluable for them to have these products marked on a label in Braille which can then be stuck on to the product concerned so that they can identify them correctly. This can be done either as somebody goes round the store with the blind person or at the Customer Service Desk after the shopping has been purchased. ASDA is the only retailer to offer this service across all stores, and a number of stores have received a remarkable amount of positive PR as a result.There is a bag-packing scheme where checkout staff will help customers pack their bags; the checkout operator will ask the customer if they need assistance; however, they do not always do this.
Members of staff are trained specifically to make sure products are packed accordingly. There are other services available such as an in-store pharmacy, vision centre, and brolly and jump lead service. There is also the ASDA cafe, Curry Pot and a few have links with a petrol/diesel station.
There are many different departments within the supermarket there are those which are internal these are usually based upstairs away from the customers. The customers roam freely on the store floor where the checkouts and customers service desk is. In ASDA Leyton Mills, the trolleys are located just in front of the store under shelter. Soon as you walk into the store, you will see the customer’s services desk directly in front of you.
To the left of this is the clothing section and to the right cafe ASDA, the vision centre, pharmacy and a mini shop where you can purchase lottery tickets to cigarettes. As you progress through the store, you will come across the fruit and vegetable sections then all the foods are grouped together. On one side of the store, there are the cooked meats and cheese section.Frozen foods, Fridges and chilled isles, dried foods like rice etc, tinned foods, condiments and seasonings. Then there is the confectionary isles displaying sweets etc, cereal isle, followed by the bakery area.
On the other side of the store, there is the entertainment section that is located new to the CD/DVD and Video area. Then there is the stationary/magazine/book area followed by the home section, selling cookery items to home cleaning products, the pets section, the alcohol area and finally the checkouts where small items can also be found.The largest employer in Leyton is ASDA, which opened a new superstore in 2002 creating 350 new jobs. Prior to this, there were no large employers in Leyton having as much staff. There were three employers in Leyton employing up to 200 employees. These employers are located in the waste management, catering distribution and food retailing sectors.
The closest major supermarkets to Leyton are located to the North in Walthamstow and South in Stratford. There were no major supermarkets directly in Leyton people had to travel to the neighboring boroughs to get their shopping, so when the Leyton Mills ASDA opened it created a great convenience for those living in the area. Leyton has both residential and industrial areas so the new store opening is of great relevance as there are vast amounts of people within the area.Levels of car ownership are low in Leyton compared with the rest of Waltham Forest. The majority of residents rely on public transport to gain access to jobs within the Borough and beyond. Leyton is located on the Central line and has good links with the City and West End. However, Leyton tube station is located in the narrow southern tip of Leyton so these linkages do not benefit residents evenly.
Leyton High Road is a key public transport corridor along the North-South axis with a number of bus routes providing access to employment opportunities in the Walthamstow Gateway and Stratford areas. Congestion at peak hours renders bus services unreliable. Two major new roads have opened, The M11 Link Road and the Leyton Relief Road.The nearest supermarkets to Leyton are located to the North in Walthamstow and South in Stratford. In Walthamstow, there is another ASDA located in the Mall and a Sainsbury’s store. However, these are no direct threat to the ASDA in Leyton.
There are independent stores/newsagents throughout Leyton but these are also no threat to ASDA.We are all described as being within a “social class” or ” socio-economic grouping”. These tend to rely on the occupation of the main earner within a household and are no more than rough groupings, used principally by advertisers to segregate their target audience. There is no reliable single definition of the groups, or of what is included in them.
Socio-economic group is defined by identifying the type of employment in which people work currently, or last worked in. this area contains a mix of mixture of most social groups. Unemployment in the borough is above the London level. The people living here are in general qualified to a high level and the typical employment type is classified as professional or white and blue collar. Unemployment stands at 84% higher than the national average, and the industry sector is defined as consisting of the service industry, for example tourism, retail, transport/distribution and catering or intellectual services, for example IT, scientific research, education and consulting.
Leyton is an ethnically diverse borough, and the diversity has increased significantly over the last decade. The ethnic breakdown of Leyton is typically Caucasian, Mixed race, Caribbean or African and Asian.Properties are mainly terraced or flats and are mortgaged, council houses, housing association or privately rented.
The typical property price is below average. The properties are small and are located in suburbsEveryone living within the Leyton borough is a potential customer, as he/she will mainly use this store, as it is the closet to him or her. People tend not to travel far for something if it is obtainable from around the corner. As the average household income is not high, and households consist of young and older singles, families and single parents the individuals, living within the area will appreciate the cheap prices and ASDA Leyton Mills can be certain that it will always have customers. Not only will it have customers from Leyton but also some may chose to come from neighboring boroughs such as Clapton, Hackney, Walthamstow, Stratford etc. the store is also opened to quite late which can also be a benefit to those living in the area especially if they finish work late and find their house to be bare.The Leyton Mills ASDA takes over a large area of the industrial ring/circle.
The store’s name is written in big bold green lettering, which can be seen from a distance. The external front of the store is white with a sheltered trolley rank, the area is usually clean and trolleys stacked away to the sides. The store has many glass windowpanes, which can have many purposes.
They do not only make the store look aesthetically appealing, it allows potential customers to look inside the store and study the inside environment. The large glass windowpanes also allow in extra light, which gives the store that extra ‘warm’ or ‘welcoming’ glow. The store has an entrance/exit that leads to the car parking area on one side of the store and has a revolving door at the other side of the store that leads towards the Leyton Train station and other transport links.Internally the store is neat and organised. All merchandise shows relevance in the way that it is arranged on the shelves/isles. For example there is a clothing section that is designated to just clothing, you will not find an area of pet food in-between the racks.The lighting within the store is not too bright and is not too soft.
Most of the time music is played over the stores speakers usually broken up by announcements of current in store offers. As the day passes and evening comes around, the music within the store becomes mellower. The main smells within the store come from the bakery and floral sections of the store. If the store had a bad odour from the entrance, many people would not enter the store and the store will lose customers, and the company will get a bad reputation. The store and its toilets are generally clean although the odd spills do happen. In all, the store has a relaxed ambience.The store is usually calm, quiet and relaxed with customers doing their shopping but there are some exceptions especially on a Saturday morning where the store may become loud and busy with those with young families quickly doing their shopping so they can continue with the rest of their day.