Rod Addy
Asda aims to stock locally sourced products in all its 258 UK stores by 2004, according to stores in the community director Clive West.
At a regional supplier conference one year since the multiple tabled an integrated local community strategy, West said: "We want to list locally sourced products in every store by the end of the year."
Chief operating officer Richard Baker, who also attended the event, said local sourcing had proved extremely lucrative, with regional suppliers beating top brands on their own turf: "We have local ice creams that are outselling Häagen-Dazs in select outlets, and local breads outselling Warburtons in some Staffordshire stores."
West said Asda had added400 new local lines to its stores in 2002 and now had 130 local suppliers on its books.
The multiple estimates it can make £160m from sales of local products this year.
Bury Black Puddings was cited as one of the most successful local suppliers. The company is in the process of rolling its products out to two of Asda's regional distribution centres, covering almost a third of its stores.
The multiple said it was trying to improve its local sourcing by exploring areas such as direct delivery by suppliers and simplifying paperwork needed to gain a listing.
West explained his longer-term strategy: "In 2004 I'm planning to visit Wal-Mart stores in Canada as well as international hypermarket groups such as Carrefour to learn best practice for local sourcing."
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