We will lead in low prices
Low prices will remain at the heart of everything Asda does, especially as household purse strings are tightened in 2008. But innovation, choice and quality are also key to our offer
My new year's resolution is to ensure we keep on delivering low prices for customers. For the past 10 years we've won The Grocer 33 and I'm determined we'll do so again this year. Giving shoppers low prices so they can live better is at the heart of all we do.
This is achieved through 'common sense retailing' and I make no apologies for using that term more than once - it is core to our business, from sustainability to sourcing to innovation. In 2008, it will be even more important as everyone will have a little less money in their pockets. Although interest rates have recently seen a slight reduction, the rising cost of energy bills, petrol and mortgages has hit customers hard so there will be less money around than last year. We're perfectly positioned to keep driving prices down so we can provide some relief for customers.
In 2007, our product and service innovation was driven by common-sense solutions. Offering hot bread on the hour has driven our bakery business up by 14% year-on-year. Our fish business is up 45% after we started packaging it in a bag you could cook it in. And consumers can now taste wine before buying. Innovation will continue through 2008 ensuring we make the unaffordable affordable.
We have also led the way in showing that being green is an activity for the masses, not the elite .
As for the Competition Commission, I hope it has common sense in abundance and translates into action its provisional findings, which were encouraging. They found that the UK groceries market was delivering a good deal for consumers but there were nearly 1,000 places where choice and diversity were limited. This is bad for consumers.
We would like to see changes to the planning system that will encourage more competition and strongly believe customers would benefit through lower prices, more choice and better quality.