The roll-out will involve setting up “supply hubs” based on an award-winning pilot scheme. The first hub was created in the Lake District and won Asda an IGD award for supply chain excellence last year. Under the scheme, one supplier, Plumgarths, receives store orders through an electronic system linked to Asda’s head office. It passes the orders to 18 other local suppliers, consolidates the deliveries and transports them to the Asda store.
A spokesman said Asda aimed to use the scheme as a template in a drive to introduce locally produced sections in all stores by next year. In store, the Local Choice offer would be highlighted by PoS, shelf barkers and by blocking out products.
Local suppliers will be encouraged to visit stores to run sampling activity and create “theatre”, he said.
The Local Choice option will be used in addition to the Best Of local ranges. Asda already has Best Of programmes in place in the West Country, the Lake District, Scotland and Wales, where food and some non-food suppliers deliver to the depot or direct to the store.
Asda’s latest Best of Yorkshire range of 50 locally sourced products was launched in 24 stores across Yorkshire this week.
A Best of Kent range is being developed with local suppliers and local food groups.