Asda picked up the gongs at this week's prestigious Grocer Gold Awards at the Guildhall in London, and had further cause for jubilation as Nathen Newark, manager at its Wembley store, pipped the cream of the crop from big four rivals and Waitrose to pick up the coveted title of Store Manager of the Year.
Having launched its original Price Guarantee last April, it ramped up the price war in January, promising to refund the difference if it wasn't at least 10% cheaper than rivals. Launching the 10% promise, Asda cited a major investment in price by its parent Walmart and it appears to have paid off as Asda widened its lead on price over Tesco. Asda's G33 basket was the cheapest 32 times out of a possible 50 this year, and cost an average of £55.94 compared with £57.99 at Tesco.
"People assume that because we've won this award for 14 years in a row, it's easy," said Rick Bendel, Asda's international chief marketing officer. "Let me tell you, it isn't especially when you're half the size of the market leader." Bendel also assured Asda's customers that the supermarket would not let up in its drive to stay number one. "We'll work just as hard in the year ahead to win a 15th time," he promised.
The award for Britain's Favourite Supermarket of the Year was the result of a poll of 5,520 consumers by Nielsen. Retailers were judged on a number of criteria including value for money, range, quality, ethics and customer service. Tesco had held the award since 2005.
Tesco did, however, pick up the G33 award for service. It won store of the week 14 times, ahead of Sainsbury's with 12, Asda with 11, Morrisons with seven and Waitrose, six.
Tesco UK chief operating officer Bob Robbins paid tribute to Tesco staff for the win. "This award is recognition of their efforts, and the hard work they put in to deliver for our customers every day," he said.
Sainsbury's collected the prize for availability. Although, at 96.5%, its percentage availability was narrowly behind Asda's (96.6%), it offered 11 full baskets this year, compared with Waitrose and Asda with eight, Tesco with seven and Morrisons with four. "Our number one job is to serve our customers well and to have the best selection of products available at all times," said Sainsbury's retail director Roger Burnley.
The lowest availability percentage was also recorded by Morrisons, at 95.1%.
Number of full baskets Sainsbury's11 (8) Waitrose8 (10) Asda8 (4) Tesco7 (12) Morrisons4 (9) Store of the Week award Tesco14 Sainsbury's12 Asda11 Morrisons7 Waitrose6 Average time at till Tesco2 mins 19 secs Waitrose2 mins 27 secs Asda2 mins 33 secs Morrisons3 mins 13 secs Sainsbury's3 mins 21 secs