Asda Stores Ltd

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Asda Stores is a British supermarket retailer, headquartered in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Asda is the 2nd-largest supermarket chain in the UK, with Sainsbury's in 1st place, and Tesco in 3rd.ref

Asda also offers financial services and a mobile phone provider that uses the existing EE network. Since 1987, Asda has also had a property development subsidiary, McLagan Investments Ltd.OpenCorporates-sm.svg

Plastic Packaging

  • Jan.14.2018: What are supermarkets doing to fight plastic? Plastic waste is "one of the great environmental scourges of our time". Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to ban all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042. Despite extending the 5p charge on single-use plastic bags, major retailers in England still sold 2.1bn in the last financial year. But organisations like Greenpeace UK are sceptical, citing Mrs May's "vague aspirations". So what are Britain's 10 biggest supermarkets doing to combat the "scourge" of plastic? Asda has reduced the weight of its packaging by 27% since 2007, partly by introducing "skin" packaging on some of its meat products. It also saved 82 tonnes of plastic by making its 2-litre own-brand water bottles lighter. BBC News.

Political Stance

  • May.27.2018: What Elon Musk and George Soros can teach us about media credibility. For some change is disastrous. It is an outrage, for example, that Asda and Morrisons are refusing to stock the New European on the grounds of its anti-Brexit stance. Launched in nine days after the EU referendum, the weekly campaigning paper – with an average circulation of 22,000 – has won several awards since launching in Jun.2016. The editorial and management has made no secret of its pro-Remain stance. Indeed, its raison d’etre has been to redress the imbalance in the national media. Newspapers supporting Brexit are read by four times as many as those supporting the status quo. So why, if both supermarkets sell pro-Brexit papers, have they told the New European’s distribution team their “stores do not want to be seen to take a political stance”? Editor Matt Kelly has accused the retailers of “damaging media plurality” in the UK. And given the importance of supermarket sales to print newspapers, he is 100% right. Jane Martinson, The Guardian.


Asda Money: Asda has a financial services division, similar to those operated by Tesco, Sainsbury's and other retailers. Asda simply attaches its own brand to products provided by other companies. Services offered include car insurance (provided by Brightside Insurance Services), credit cards (provided by Creation Financial Services) and travel money bureaux (provided by Travelex). The financial services division of the organisation does not directly sell these services in store and instead uses the supplier of that product by telephone or online/postal application. Marketing and management of financial services is co-ordinated in house and many stores have a financial services co-ordinator, responsible for promoting the products and ensuring legal compliance. The Financial Services division is also responsible for gift cards, Christmas Saver and Business Rewards.ref, link, Website

Distribution Centres: Asda now has 25 distribution depots all across the UK which distribute across the network of stores.ref Three of Asda's distribution centres (Rochdale CDC, Doncaster GM & Larne (Northern Ireland) are outsourced to Wincanton plc.ref

ToDo: Go through Tesco, Sainsbury's, link, [ Asda Stores Ltd], CH, link. UK Food Retailing 1980-2002.[2]

Asda Stores Ltd

  • Oct.2020: Asda was sold to private equity firm TDR Capital Ltd and Mohsin and Zuber Issa, two billionaire brothers from Blackburn.[3] Walmart retained a minority stake, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board. The Issa brothers and TDR Capital were already chums, with TDR Capital owning a ~50% stake in EG Group Ltd.[4] The deal is subject to approval from the Competition & Markets Authority, with a verdict expected in mid-Feb.2021.[5]
  • 2015: 50 years trading as Asda, 600th store opening. Profits surpassed £1bn for the first time and the company celebrated with a new logo, adopting its parent company Walmart's famous "sparks", and the already famous slogan in the USA "Save Money, Live Better".
  • Feb.2011: six stores were purchased from Focus DIY, with five being converted into supermarkets.ref,ref
  • May.2010: Netto UK, a Danish chain of 193 smaller-sized supermarkets, was acquired from Dansk Supermarked A/S, becoming part of Asda's supermarket division. The Office of Fair Trading required the sale of 47 Netto stores; the remaining stores were subsequently rebranded as Asda.[6]
  • Oct.2009: International Produce Ltd was acquired as part of a strategy to source fresh produce directly. International Produce Ltd was renamed to "International Procurement & Logistics Ltd",OpenCorporates-sm.svg to reflect its growth outside fresh produce procurement.[7] IPL was formed in Apr.2004 by joint shareholders Geest plc/Geest Foods Ltd (76%) and Teresa BV/Teresa Hermanos (24%) to source and supply fresh produce. As well as being the UK's single biggest importer of produce, IPL's export operation "IPL Export" supported Walmart's direct import strategies, and Sam’s Club, Walmart's retail warehouse chain.[8] Website
  • Aug.2009: Dividends: Wal-Mart "sold" Asda Group Ltd to Wal-Mart Stores (UK) Ltd/Corinth Services Ltd,OpenCorporates-sm.svg its Leeds-based investment vehicle subsidiary.[9] The deal meant that Corinth, which does not employ any staff other than its 7 directors, received Asda's dividend payments.ref,ref
  • Jun.2008: Gazeley Ltd, Asda's property development arm, was sold to Economic Zones World, a subsidiary of Dubai World, the Dubai govt's investment unit.ref
  • Apr.2007: Asda Mobile: a mobile phone network, provided in partnership with EE, was launched.ref
  • 2005: Expansion into Northern Ireland by purchasing 12 former Safeway plc stores from Morrisons.ref,ref
  • 2000: Asda opened its first store under the Wal-Mart banner, and launched "Smart Price", a new brand based on Wal-Mart's well-known brands Great Value and Sam's Choice.
  • ?date?: Almost immediately after the purchase ASDA adopted Wal-Mart's "price roll-back" program, thus igniting price wars among UK supermarket companies.
  • Nov.1999: Asda Group Ltd: Walmart delisted the company, taking it private.

Asda Group Ltd

  • Jul.1999: Walmart Stores Inc, an American retail giant, purchased Asda Group plc, trumping a bid from rival Kingfisher plc. Walmart had been searching for a way into the UK market, and Asda provided it with a ready-made retailer that had values that closely matched it own.ref Asda was subsequently delisted from the London Stock Exchange.
  • 1987: The dairy division was sold in a management buyout and renamed Associated Fresh Foods. Associated Fresh Foods, the modest dairy company that at one time had been Hindell's Dairy Farmers Ltd — that is, Asda's own parent.
  • Dec.1993: Allied Carpets Group plc was sold to Carpetland.ref / Allied Carpets and some of the co-branded Allied Maples stores were sold off to now-defunct Carpetland. todo

The dairy division was renamed Associated Fresh Foods, the abattoir and meat processing plant at Lofthouse, near Wakefield which supplied fresh meat to all Asda stores was renamed as Lofthouse Foods. But in 1993 the whole fresh food division, including the Asda Produce, fruit and vegetable packing plant in Normanton, Wakefield, was sold off in a management buyout to other dairy and food processors. In the same year Allied Carpets and Furnishings was sold off to the now defunct Carpetland.[7]

  • 1993, the whole fresh food division, including the Asda Produce, fruit and vegetable sourcing, processing and packing plant in Normanton, Wakefield, was sold off in a management buyout to other dairy and food processors.
  • 1993: Maples was divested in a management buyout, and became an independent company again until it went into liquidation in 1997, and the stores were bought out by the now defunct Allders department store chain. / In 1997 Allders acquired the bankrupt Maples furniture brand and seven of its retail outlets.
  • 1992-1995: Turnaround: CEO Archie NormanWikipedia-W.svg remodelled Asda along the lines of Walmart, ref after company executive Allan LeightonWikipedia-W.svg went to the USA to assess and photograph Walmart's systems and marketing.[ref?]
  • 1991: Asda was in serious financial trouble and saddled with £1bn of debt, having overstretched itself with the Gateway acquisition,ref and still owning 25% of debt-ridden MFI.
  • mid.1990s: Petrol: Asda supplied its own fuel delivered by its own tankers to its petrol station forecourts, along with its main supermarket rivals.
  • 1989: Expansion: 61 large format stores, two undeveloped sites and a distribution centre were bought from rival Gateway Corporation.ref
  • 1988: Acquisitions: Waring & Gillow, Colonel Gee, and Maple & Co. furniture brands and Maples stores were acquired. Co-branded stores under the "Allied Maples" banner appeared on major retail parks.
  • Mar.1988: Asda Group plc: the company's name was changed.

Asda-MFI Group plc

  • Apr.1987: McLagan Investments Ltd was incorporated as Asda's property development subsidiary. OC
  • Oct.1987: Hygena, a supplier of kitchen and bedroom furniture, was acquired.AR-Apr.1988
  • Oct.1987: MFI Group Ltd was sold in a management buy-out to Maxirace Ltd, a consortium of investors, with Asda retaining a 25% stake in the newly formed company.[10]
    ToDo †See MFI Group Ltd for more infos.
  • May.1985: Asda-MFI Group plc was formed by the merger of MFI Furniture Centres Ltd, a UK-wide retailer of self-assembly furniture, and Asda Stores Ltd.ref[10] The marriage was not a success, with group figures dropping from 40% in 1985 to 27% in 1987.[11]

Associated Dairies Group plc

  • 1985: a new green logo was introduced in an effort to revitalise the brand image.ref
  • 1981: a new MD = a new strategy for Asda, included launching its own branded products, opening new distribution warehouses and introducing a new look and feel in-store.
  • 1980: CRS Retail: ... Lodges was built up as a family business, started by brothers Frank and Albert's stall at Marsden market in 1921. Their first successful store was in Nelson, Lancashire. In the 1960s and 1970s they opened stores in Waterloo, Marsh, Meltham, Crosland Moor, Lepton, John William Street in Huddersfield, then Honley and Holmfirth in 1975. Following a management buyout in 1991, the chain of stores was bought by CRS Retail in 1995. Massive objections to a large store on the former Clough Mill site in Birkby finally went ahead in 1975 amid worries that town centre businesses would be damaged. Bought out by Asda in 1980.
  • Oct.1978: Associated Dairies Group plc was formed. OpenCorporates-sm.svg

Associated Dairies Group Ltd

  • 1978: Allied Carpets Group plc, a carpet retailer, was acquired.ref
  • 1978: Asda Drive was launched with the view of selling cars at the larger stores; the venture was not a success. / Asda Drive - where the company unsuccessfully piloted a scheme to sell cars in a few of its largest stores.
  • AR-May.1980: Associated Dairies Group Ltd was the holdco for the group.
  • Aug.1978: Wades Departmental Stores Ltd was acquired (majority stake). Asda having a go at selling furniture.[AR-Apr.1978]
  • AR-May.1976: Gaseley Properties Ltd and Anzo Holdings Ltd were acquired by Associated Dairies Ltd. (to form Asda Property?)

Associated Dairies Ltd

  • May.1980: name was still Associated Dairies Ltd.
    ToDo: See 00464777/AR-May.1975 for "Asda Superstores" piclink; AR-Apr.1977, Apr.1978, piclinks; all logos in Asda-Stores-ink.svg
  • Jul.1973: Sandmartin Foods Ltd was acquired.[12]:Apr.1974
  • 1972: Asda entered the travel agency business.
  • 1970s: Expansion: Asda pushed further south, opening new out-of-town supermarkets in Plymouth, Hampshire and South Wales. MD Peter Firmston-Williams pushed for more petrol filling stations at the larger stores, as well as a new partnership with ATS for tyre fitting.
  • 1968: Associated Dairies bought out the Asquith family, gaining full control. By 1969, the company had 30 stores and was looking south for further growth.[13]
  • 1967: Discounted Petrol: to bring customers in, Peter Asquith made a deal with NAFTA, an little-known discount Russian oil company / supplier, because none of the major oil companies wanted to strike a deal with him / because the major oil companies would not supply fuel to be sold at discount prices.
  • 1966: General Merchandise: to fill the extra space in the former GEM stores, Asda became the first food store to offer general merchandise.
  • Nov.1966: GEM Super Centres (Government Exchange Mart), a UK operation owned by US discount retailer Gem International Supercentres Inc with two large stores in Leeds and Nottingham plus another in West Bridgford, was acquired (80%), with the Nottingham GEM store becoming the UK's first out-of-town supermarket.[14],ref The GEM stores were re-launched as "Asda Queen's". GEM had come to the UK with the idea of opening large stores filled with separate franchised shops ("shops within shops"), but the concept was not met with enthusiasm.[15],ref The outstanding 20% interest was acquired in 1974.
  • 1965: Out-of-Town Supermarkets: the Retail Price Maintenance was abolished, allowing retailers to set prices for the first time. Enabled Asda to to offer large-scale, low-cost supermarkets.
  • May.1965: Asda: Asquith's supermarkets and Associated Dairies merged, adopting the name ASquith + DAiries.[13] ?Leeds-based Asquith chain of 3 supermarkets and Associated Dairies united to form Asquith and Dairies, "Asda" ?
  •  ??.1965: Asda Stores Ltd was formed as a food stores subsidiary when Associated Dairies & Farm Stores Ltd and Queen's Supermarkets merged.
  • early.1965: Peter Asquith was looking for a company to take over his in-store butchery operation, and contacted Associated Dairies. The Asquith family partnered with Associated Dairies & Farm Stores Ltd to bring butchery counters to its small chain of supermarkets, and a merger of the companies was then suggested.[13]
  • ?date?: Discounting: the Asquith brothers discovered the idea of food discounting when Crosse & Blackwell soups were offering a 2½p postal order for every soup label returned. Asquith’s buyer spotted an opportunity and bought 1,000 cans; the redemption labels were cut off, and the cans of soup were offered at a 3d discount.
  • Sept.1963: Associated Dairies Ltd: the company changed its name. AR-1974, piclink

Associated Dairies & Farm Stores Ltd

  • ?date?: Associated Dairies & Farm Stores (Leeds) Ltd: at some point, the company changed its name.
  • 1963: Queen's Supermarkets: a former Queens theatre in Castleford, Pontefract was converted into the UK's first self-service supermarket. A further three stores were opened over the next two years. The concept had come from a 1958 visit by the Asquith sons, Peter and Fred, to the USA to visit Piggly Wiggly, a supermarket. This trip inspired them greatly.ref
  • 1950s: Associated Dairies expanded the number of pork butchery shops (under the Farm Stores fascia); the Craven Dairies brand was created for its cake shops and cafes.
  • 1950-1960: The next 20 years saw a veritable blizzard of further acquisitions by Associated Dairies. Creameries and dairies too numerous to mention became part of the rapidly growing northern conglomerate.
  • Feb.1949: Associated Dairies & Farm Stores Ltd was formed to acquire Hindell's Dairy Farmers Ltd and its subsidiaries, including Farm Stores Ltd and Bramham (Foods) Ltd,[12]:Feb.1949 amongst ~26 farms, 3 dairies, 2 bakeries, 42 retail shops, and pork-butchering facilities. Reformed as a public company, and floated.[13][2] OpenCorporates-sm.svg


  • 1920s-1940s: Acquisitions: Hindell's kept itself busy with acquisitions and diversifying. Amongst 38 other acquisitions were Robert Hardman Ltd and Southern Gold (UK) Ltd.[AR-Apr.1974]
  • 1920: Hindell's Dairy Farmers Ltd was formed by a group of dairy farmers in West Riding, selling milk and meat products.[13] The partnership's purpose was to create wholesale and retail outlets for their milk, thereby securing a steady market and a floor price.
  • 1920s: WR Asquith: the Asquith family ran a small butcher's shop in Knottingley, West Yorkshire.ref The business slowly expanded to seven shops in the local area.
Additional Sources: link, link+pics, link, link

Asquith & Sons Ltd


  • Oct.27.2018: Asda merger puts 2,500 jobs at risk. Thousands of staff at Asda have been warned they could be made redundant as the supermarket chain cuts costs before its proposed £51bn merger with Sainsbury's. Last month the competition watchdog warned that the tie-up between J Sainsbury and Asda posed a substantial risk to competition in 463 areas. It could mean that Britain’s 2nd and 3rd largest grocers would be forced to offload hundreds of stores to have the merger cleared. Sainsbury’s has 606 supermarkets, 815 convenience stores and 311 petrol filling stations as well as 624 stand-alone Argos stores and 216 Argos concessions in-store. Tabby Kinder, The Times.
  • Aug.23.2018: Asda workers fear Sainsbury’s will hold all the power. Store managers can see the logic, but shopfloor staff worry about what they will stand to lose. Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's chief executive and main architect of the deal, says that the merger is essential to ensure the long-term future of both businesses operating in a sector where net margins are about 2½p in the pound. Mr Coupe and Roger Burnley, who leads Asda, have promised to deliver £500m of net synergies from the deal, the majority of which will come from harmonising buying terms among their top 100 suppliers. The national living wage must be at least £9 a hour by 2020, so Asda’s pay will have to rise, but a worker in the northeast said: “Of course we won’t have equal pay with Sainsbury’s. Argos staff working in the same store as Sainsbury’s workers don’t even get the same pay.” Deirdre Hipwell, The Times.


  1. ^ Five unethical companies. All these companies score poorly across our rating system for failing to address issues including human rights, animal rights and environmental concerns. Amazon, ASDA WalMart, Nestle, Tesco, Coca Cola. The top ten least ethical companies as voted for by Ethical Consumer readers were: Nestlé, Monsanto, Amazon, Shell, Tesco, Barclays, Exxon, Wal Mart, Coca Cola, Primark. Tim Hunt, Ethical Consumer, May.18.2018.
  2. ^ a b Corporate Strategy in UK Food Retailing, 1980-2002. Geoffrey Owen, London School of Economics, Institute of Management, Feb.2003. - Background paper by Geoffrey Owen.pdf Original archived
  3. ^ Asda sold to billionaire Issa brothers in £6.8bn deal. The pair and TDR Capital acquire majority ownership stake in supermarket. Zoe Wood, The Guardian, Oct.02.2020.
  4. ^ Asda takeover: TDR-backed EG Group in pole position for £6.5bn deal. Sarah Butler, The Guardian, Sept.28.2020.
  5. ^ CMA launches probe into billionaire brothers' takeover of Asda. The UK’s competition regulator has launched its stage one probe into the billionaire Issa brothers’ takeover of supermarket Asda. Edward Thicknesse, City AM, Dec.08.2020.
  6. ^ Asda must sell stores in Netto buy-out. This is Money, Sept.23.2010.
  7. ^ Asda renames IPL sourcing arm as International Procurement and Logistics Ltd. Richard Ford, The Grocer, Feb.07.2013.
  8. ^ Direct sourcing is key for IPL and ASDA. Eurofresh Distribution, May.25.2016.
  9. ^ Corinth Investments Ltd: Report and Financial Statments. Companies House, Dec.31.2009.
  10. ^ a b Corporate Profile: MFI - Step one: pick up the pieces. Jim Levi, The Independent, Dec.22.1999.
  11. ^ "Strategic management: awareness and change.", John Thompson; Jonathan M Scott; Frank Martin, Andover, Hampshire Cengage Learning, 2017, ISBN: 978-1408018071
  12. ^ a b Asda Stores Ltd. Companies House, Feb.19.1949.
  13. ^ a b c d e Sir Noel Stockdale. The Telegraph, Feb.09.2004.
  14. ^ "GEM, 1964-1966: Britain's first out-of-town retailer.", Paul Whysall, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2005.
  15. ^ How first out-of-town superstore changed the UK. Jon Kelly, BBC News, Sept.02.2013.