In an effort to deal with excess space in its supermarkets, Asda is set to bring new retailers into its stores and would not necessarily rule out competing brands, the supermarket revealed today.
Though the retailer has no plans to reduce its estate size through store closures - with chief exec Andy Clarke saying Asda is “fortunate to have a profitable estate” - it is intending to annex off shopfloor space, with new partnerships and details to be announced in two weeks.
“How we think about space is changing,” said Clarke. “In the past we’ve brought in Timpsons and dry cleaning services and that worked well. In an Asda in Glasgow we have (a few years ago) built a wall to annex off space to see how that works for the store.”
Clarke said the retailer would not necessarily only join forces with non-competitors, but did say Asda wanted to create “destination shops”, with a focus on hospitality and leisure.
Clarke also spoke of the changing retail landscape he finds himself in.
“A few years ago The Grocer had a cover with all of us [chief execs] dressed as Generals. I feel like the last General standing,” he said. “In some ways we were ahead of the other big three - we started doing what the others are doing now 18 months ago.”
Though on the management restructure, Clarke did add that he “personally found it very challenging”. Clarke said that Asda’s new strategies will help the retailer “mitigate” against the growth of discounters.
“Discounters only account for 8% of the market - we want to take some of the share from the other big three. But we compete with the discounters by offering a full range basket. I respect what they do, but with Aldi and Lidl themselves adding range, they could be adding complexity.”