Asda has defended EDLP in the face of renewed claims that no food retailer in this country has fully embraced the concept. "EDLP is absolutely here to stay," the retailer's general manager, household, Jeremy Cross, told a seminar organise by Taylor Nelson Sofres. He cited sustainability as one of the key strengths of EDLP, adding: "I can't make a long term promotional strategy work in my head." The results of Asda's EDLP strategy were only surfacing this year, he said, because consumers "had not quite got it" when it was introduced in 1999-2000. Cross said that EDLP retailers Asda and Tesco had experienced a 4% increase in market share since the concept was launched ­ while promotion-based retailers, such as Safeway, had witnessed a comparable 2% loss of share. However, TNS account director Michael Hawkins argued that EDLP did not exist in its pure form in the UK. In addition, he said retailers had never abandoned promotions and had largely switched back to a promotional strategy after an initial nine months experiment with EDLP. Hawkins said EDLP had either evolved into an Every Day Low Offers approach or into the more traditional high:low promotional strategy adopted by Safeway. And he pointed out that Asda had launched powerful EDLOs as part of its Rollback strategy, such as selling three Müller yogurts for 99p. However, Cross said such deals were part and parcel of an effective EDLP strategy. "EDLO is not contrary to EDLP," he insisted. {{NEWS }}