Asda is the cheapest of the UK’s “big four” supermarkets. So, while it doesn’t have the largest market share, it is always a popular choice for money-saving Brits.
However, smaller, cheaper grocers like Aldi and Lidl are starting to gain ground among shoppers. As such, Asda’s reputation as the country’s best value supermarket is at stake.
If you want the latest facts and figures on everything from Asda’s history to the company’s latest challenges, here’s everything you need to know!
5 Key Asda Statistics, Facts & Trends In 2022
Five facts that offer an insight into Asda’s popularity and market share.
- Asda serves 18 million customers every week in more than 600 stores.
- Asda employs more than 145,000 people.
- Asda has been named cheapest supermarket of the year 23 years in a row.
- Asda is committed to sustainability and diversity.
- A decline in sales in 2019 led the retailer to focus more of its efforts on e-commerce.
For further insights into Asda from their history, growth, employees, and more, keep on reading!
All About Asda’s History
Asda is one of the most influential supermarkets in British history. Here’s how it got its start.
1. How Asda Got Its Name
Back when it was founded in 1949, Asda was known as Associated Dairies & Farm Stores Limited. But, when it was merged with the Asquith brothers’ chain of three supermarkets, the name itself also changed.
Combining the “AS” from Asquith and “DA” from Dairies, Asda was given its name in May, 1965.
2. The First Asda Superstores
In 1966, Asda acquired two large stores of over 80,000 square feet. With these new spaces, they were able to expand into selling general merchandise – a first for UK supermarkets.
This revolution in retail was an immediate hit, with one of the stores taking £30,000 in its first week, which would work out at more than £479,000 today! Not bad for a first week.
3. Asda’s Acquisitions
Thanks to the founders’ keen eye for expansion opportunities, Asda’s presence in the UK grew at an astounding rate.
By 1970, Asda stores had expanded beyond their 30 stores in the North of England and into the South, with the acquisition of Allied Carpets and 61 large Gateway Supermarkets.
4. Listing On The London Stock Exchange
Asda was listed on the London Stock Exchange up until 1999. That is, until it was acquired by American grocery giant Walmart in a £6.7 billion deal.
Now, though, Asda is once again looking to list on the London Stock Exchange, to help ensure its longevity and future success.
Asda’s Popularity And Trend Statistics
Take a closer look at how the British public view Asda in comparison to other leading supermarkets.
5. Asda Is Viewed In An Overwhelmingly Positive Light
18 million customers shop with Asda every week, making Asda one of the most popular supermarkets in the UK.
And, of those who know about Asda, 73% of people have a favorable opinion. So, not far behind the best-known supermarket, Aldi, which is loved by 79% of British shoppers.
6. Cheapest Of The Big Four
Of the four biggest supermarkets in the UK, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons, Asda is consistently found to offer customers the best value for money.
However, that doesn’t mean to say that Asda is the country’s cheapest grocer overall. Lidl and Aldi sell more lower-priced products, and shoppers can save significantly more when shopping with these smaller chains.
7. Cheapest At The Grocer Golds
Asda has won plenty of awards over the years. In 2020 alone, Asda won 33 awards from trade magazine Grocer at their annual “Grocer Golds” awards. This included the crown for cheapest UK supermarket, which Asda has now won 23 years in a row.
8. Asda’s Fluctuating Turnover
Despite a difficult few years, the chain’s turnover remained high towards the back end of the last decade. However, at the end of 2019, there was a sudden and devastating decline sales.
To this day, Asda’s year-on-year growth is still in the minus figures.
Asda’s Logistics Statistics
Read on to find out about Asda’s logistics and operations, including their commitment to sustainability.
9. A National Operation
Asda’s distribution operations serve more than 600 stores across the UK, and include 21 food depots, three clothing centers, and two website fulfilment centers.
Served by more than 4,000 heavy good vehicles and 2,000 home delivery vehicles, it is a sophisticated national operation.
10. Asda’s 97% Automated Warehouse
Improving efficiencies and driving innovation behind the scenes, Asda opened its first automated distribution center in 2017.
After a £100 million investment, the warehouse employs 600 people who work alongside robotic technology, including nine robotic cranes.
Based in Warrington, the center serves 140 stores across the North of England.
11. Asda’s Carbon Emissions
Committed to halving carbon emissions by 2025, Asda has added sustainable home delivery vans to its fleet.
The vans can travel up to 40 miles on one charge, and they are also insulated using 5,500 recycled water bottles, making them are far lighter than the standard model.
12. Local Sourcing At Asda
Asda is similarly committed to local sourcing. They currently work with more than 600 suppliers to stock 6,000 local products across their stores, including local craft beers and meat.
13. Asda Champions Everywoman
Asda has been recognized for innovations in its logistical operations. But, beyond the accolades earned for technologies, Asda’s logistics provider is also praised for its commitment to diversity.
In fact, Asda has won six Freight Transport Association Everywoman awards, proving the retailer’s dedication to championing women.
14. Delivery Slots
During the coronavirus lockdown, Asda had to expand its delivery operations, fast.
Making good use of its growing electric delivery fleet, the company was able to up click & collect slots from 7,000 to 34,000 per week, and deliver to 20,000,000 through the year.
Asda Employment Facts And Figures
Asda is known for offering customers good value for money, but do those who work there have a favorable view of the retailer, too?
15. Number of Employees
Working across five different store formats, Asda employs more than 145,000 people from a range of different backgrounds and identities.
Dedicated to inclusion and upward mobility, Asda invests in diversity initiatives and support systems for its colleagues.
16. Do Employees Like Working At Asda?
Considered by many to be a good place to work with plenty of progression opportunities, some past and current employees have nonetheless had some complaints.
From unfriendly managers to disorganization behind the scenes, it would seem that not everyone has had a positive experience of working with the chain.
17. How Much Does Asda Pay Employees?
Minimum wage at Asda is £9.18 per hour, which is £0.46 above the National Living Wage. However, that gap is about to become narrower, when the National Living Wage rises to £8.91 in April, 2021.
Additional benefits, then, serve to make working at Asda more attractive. For example, employees get discounts on food, clothes, petrol, and more, as well as annual performance-based bonuses.
What Challenges Does Asda Face?
As well as losing ground to Aldi and Lidl, Asda has faced some other challenges in recent years.
18. Asda’s Netto Deal
Asda has continued to expand since the early days, with operations being 200% bigger today than they were in 2005.
As part of expansion plans, Asda purchased the Netto supermarket chain in a £778 million deal back in 2010. But, in September of that year, Asda was forced to sell 47 of the 194 Netto stores it had acquired, following a ruling by the Office Of Fair Trading.
19. Asda Comes Under Fire
In spite of its reputation and accolades, Asda did not fare well in 2020’s Which? annual consumer satisfaction survey.
It was found that, while customers liked the range of goods on offer, many were unimpressed by everything from the in-store experience to the amount of single-use plastic packaging.
As such, it came last out of nine UK supermarkets, earning a satisfaction rating of only 58% overall from the survey’s 14,000 respondents.
Emerging Market Information
Check out how Asda plans to expand, develop, and innovate in the coming years.
20. Asda’s New Owners
After being a subsidiary of Walmart for more than 20 years, Asda was acquired by the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital in 2021. The new owners bring significant retail and brand expertise to the chain, and hope to expand Asda’s reach.
21. A New Focus On E-Commerce
With in-store satisfaction declining and the retail landscape as a whole having been so altered by coronavirus restrictions, Asda has recently placed more emphasis on e-commerce.
In 2020, online grocery delivery sales more than doubled and click & collect orders quadrupled, supported by Asda’s new fleet of sustainable delivery vans and automated distribution operations.
22. Asda’s Eco-Friendly Future
With customers unhappy with the amount of plastic packaging used in Asda’s stores, the chain decided to remove all single-use plastic fruit and vegetable bags. Amounting to 101 million pieces of plastic, the move strengthens Asda’s commitment to tackling climate change.
23. A New Kind Of Asda Store
In 2019, Asda opened the doors to its new Deal Depot store in Bristol, a large cash-and-carry warehouse. Similar in style to Costco (but without the membership fees), the store sells merchandise in bulk on pallets.
Any plans to open more Deal Depots have not yet been announced. But, with plans to expand always on the cards for Asda, these new stores could play a big role in the retailer’s future.
Asda is known for selling a wide range of affordable merchandise, and has established itself as one of the biggest UK supermarkets as a result. However, cheaper chains such as Lidl and Aldi pose a threat. So, the retailer is investing in sustainability initiatives and directing more money towards its e-commerce operations, in order to remain competitive.