Wal-Mart Emphasizes Convenience in the U.K.
By George Anderson
Back in August, Wal-Mart’s Lee Scott said, “A lot of Tesco’s growth has come from the small convenience chain. Andy (Bond, the chief executive of Asda) and his team have got to look and see where the opportunity is for us with that kind of space.”
Evidently, Mr. Bond, Andy Bond, has looked into it because Wal-Mart’s Asda subsidiary is opening its first convenience store in Northamption, England, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Asda plans to build six of the convenience stores that will operate under the “Asda Essentials” banner. The units will measure 8,000-square-feet and focus on private label offerings with some iconic brands included in the mix.
“There’s nothing quite like it here in Britain,” said Asda spokesperson Sian Horner.
Richard Hastings of Bernard Sands LLC applauded the move by Asda. “This is definitely the way for them to go in the U.K., although it is unfortunate they didn’t do it sooner. They need to learn how to do it, because it will help them to do better in Europe and other places abroad.”
Wal-Mart, according to the WSJ article, has no plans to open convenience stores in the U.S.
Moderator’s Comment: Is Wal-Mart on the right track with its Asda Essentials venture in the U.K.? Do you expect that the format or something similar
will eventually be imported into the U.S.?
The description of the Asda Essentials stores made us think more of a limited assortment grocery store (Aldi, Save-A-Lot) than a convenience store as defined
by U.S. standards. –
George Anderson – Moderator