Siân Harrington Asda is ramping up its price Rollback strategy and de-ranging across all categories as it prepares a major push of its EDLP message to customers from next month. The multiple has been working with category captains and other core suppliers to examine each category. The move is seeing product lines culled as Asda seeks to offer best-in-market prices, quality and availability. "We have been challenged on some of our lines which are good sellers, because there will be duplicates," said one supplier. At the same time Asda is overhauling its 8,000 strong own label range as part of its Asdaness project, which determines how Asda communicates with customers on all fronts (The Grocer, July 6, p5). "It's a consolidation of our Rollback investment," said business unit director Peter Pritchard, responsible for pricing strategy and implementation. "Some of it is tied in with the Asdaness relaunch and we are using this opportunity to benchmark where we are." Customers will see the first signs of the strategy with the launch of the revamped meat, fish and poultry category in mid September following a £750,000 investment. This is the role model for other categories coming on stream early next year, including healthy foods and a kids' range to rival Sainsbury's Blue Parrot Cafe and Tesco's new Tesco Kids (The Grocer, July 20, p5). "We have queried every single product we sell. The launch kickstarts the category with a volume of noise, but it is a rolling programme. We will be revisiting categories in six months time," said Pritchard. The move will put pressure on other retailers, particularly Tesco with its range and price proposition. CAI Cheuvreux analyst Mike Dennis said: "With Asda having installed Wal-Mart's superior systems in stock re-ordering and stock management, together with Wal-Mart's buy power and funding from category captains, the timing is right for Asda to capitalise on the increasing UK consumer move towards a value basket. "It is a potent message to others ­ match our category pricing or adapt a new trading strategy in the UK market." He added: "The key thing that puts Tesco off balance is that Asda is dealing with a vastly smaller range, lower level of store stock days, better availability and a significantly lower priced basket." {{NEWS }}