Asda has ushered in what it claims will be a new era of transparency in the way it engages with shoppers.
The supermarket yesterday unveiled three new initiatives designed to give customers more control over what appears in its stores and boost awareness of how the is run.
‘Chosen by you’, starting in January, will give 18,000 regular Asda customers the chance to critique products before they reach shelves.
‘Your Asda’ will give shoppers a look behind the scenes, with webcams installed in one of Asda’s dairy farms, a carrot processing plant and its corporate HQ. A new blog, ‘Aisle Spy’ has been launched on the retailer’s website.
And from next year, ‘Bright ideas’ will offer the public the chance to win £100,000 if they come up with a way of saving the company £2m.
Chief executive Andy Bond said his vision of “democratic consumerism” would empower shoppers and win their long-term loyalty.
“My ambition for Asda is to actively involve customers in every aspect of the business, to lift the lid on how we do things and enable our customers to help make decisions that have an impact on what we sell and how we sell it,” he said.
It meant working with customers instead of simply working on behalf of them, he added.
In a swipe at Asda’s supermarket rivals, Bond said Asda’s new strategy was the best way to win long-term consumer trust. “I firmly believe customer loyalty cannot be bought with plastic points or discount vouchers, it has to be earned,” Bond said.
The Asda chief also looked to draw a line under speculation linking him with a move to Marks & Spencer as successor to Sir Stuart Rose. “I am not going to M&S — end of story,” he said, according to The Times.