Company name: Walmart
Brand value: US$2,450 million
Change since 2019: -13%
Headquarter city: Leeds, United Kingdom
Year formed: 1949
Asda is third-ranked among the UK’s “Big Four” grocers, and in early 2020 had around 15 percent market share. Formed as Associated Dairies and Farm Stores Limited in 1949, it was acquired by US grocery giant Walmart in 1999. It primarily operates hypermarkets, with a strong regional focus in the north of England. The UK is its only operational market.
Asda prides itself on everyday low prices and its broad offer across grocery, home goods and its George clothing brand. Its ethos is summed up in its longstanding brand motto: “Save Money. Live Better”. The rise of discounters in the UK in recent years has exerted intense price pressure on Asda, leading parent Walmart to seek an exit from the business as part of a wider global refocus. An attempted merger with Sainsbury’s in 2019 failed and Walmart is now preparing Asda for a separate public listing within the next few years.
After several years of declines, extensive restructuring has brought Asda back to positive, if not exceptional, performance. With new store projects on hold, it is looking to maximize its existing estate and recently entered the wholesale space with a Sam’s Club-style warehouse club experiment attached to a big-box location in Bristol. Online grocery is another focus area, with efforts to provide faster fulfilment via intermediaries seeing it enter new spaces, like pizza delivery as part of an assortment revamp that includes a new vegan range and the substitution of serviced counters for an expanded grab-and-go food option.