Asda has sensationally decided to remain a member of the British Retail Consortium, despite last month claiming that it no longer felt it was getting value for money from its £250,000 annual subscription (The Grocer, July 2, p10).
The retailer’s u-turn follows emergency discussions with the BRC, during which the consortium’s director general, Kevin Hawkins, managed to persuade Asda chiefs of the merits of remaining in the fold.
Hawkins, who had previously pointed to the government’s preference for dealing with trade associations rather than single companies, said there had been no change to Asda’s membership terms or fees.
Talks between the two sides centred on the direction the consortium’s future work should take, said Hawkins.
He added: “Asda has made a very important contribution to our work over many years and our constructive and co-operative relationship will now continue. We are holding private discussions (over future direction). As those discussions come to a conclusion, we may well say something more.
“This (Asda’s decision to stay) is good news for the sector.”