Asda is using long range weather forecasting to help it plan the ordering and phasing of seasonal ranges into stores.
The chain has teamed up with US firm Planalytics ­ which uses technology developed by the military ­ to predict weather trends 12-14 months in advance.
On the back of Planalytics' predictions that unusually warm weather would break at the end of February this year, Asda was able to bring in barbecue products far earlier than usual, said central replenishment manager Alex Linton. Similarly, Planalytics' prediction of a very cold spell in October enabled Asda to phase in products such as screenwash a month earlier than expected to meet demand.
While rivals in the DIY sector started marking down stocks of some gardening equipment after a dismal May and June, Asda held off on the back of predictions of warm spells in July and managed to shift its stock at full price later on.
Next on the radar for planning are George clothing, ice cream and outdoor toys and frozen desserts, said Linton.
Planalytics MD Chris Cawthorn said he was in advanced discussions with other UK multiples.

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