Asda president Andy Bond has insisted he does “not have sleepless nights” worrying about whether Sainsbury is about to snatch back the number two spot in supermarket retailing.
Bond said he had bigger things to worry about as he announced 1,400 jobs were being cut from Asda’s 140,000-strong workforce. Some 1,200 of the jobs are among in-store junior management and Bond said the focus had to be on making Asda fitter and leaner.
“We may or may not lose the number two slot but I am not obsessed with it,” he said.
Bond also claimed Asda’s position in British retailing was not at the top of its owner Wal-Mart’s priority list, either.
However, Bond admitted that the business had become too bureaucratic, which had been behind his decision to also axe 200 jobs across the retailer’s Leeds HQ and at Lutterworth in Leicestershire, where its George clothing brand is based.
He insisted that he had identified inefficiencies, and the focus now would be on investing in hourly workers in-store in order to serve the needs of shoppers and the business.
Price will also remain at the top of the retailer’s agenda. “I will make an unequivocal promise that we will always be the cheapest retailer in the UK,” vowed Bond.
That would involve sourcing the best prices from suppliers, although he insisted good relationships with them would continue to be a priority.
Simon Mowbray
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