Blog: Asda tries to prove it is not under a cloud
Dean Best | 15 April 2010
Thanks to a rogue volcano in Iceland, spewing out an ash cloud that has grounded all flights in the UK, (I thought we wanted our cash back? With a 'c'?) some here feel a wee bit isolated today (15 April).
Executives and analysts who have travelled to the UK for Wal-Mart's latest "field trip" - this time to local arm Asda - face a delayed return home.
Andy Bond, Asda's old CEO but new chairman of the executive committee, tried to soothe any annoyance among his audience by saying the extended stay would be a great chance to watch "political history" - as the UK awaits tonight's first-ever, live televised debate between the main political leaders. (They are really up for this election at Asda, aren't they?).
Of more immediate interest was Bond's comments on Monday's news that he was to step down as Asda CEO after five years. Did he jump or was he pushed?
It was, Bond insisted, his decision. Those words were echoed by Wal-Mart CFO Tom Schoewe who had flown in for the event.
There may always be some cyncism over whether Bond did decide to step down but, in a way, that is, already, history.
Bond and Asda are looking to the future, with plans to ramp the number of smaller food stores in its estates, an ambition to become the UK's number one non-food retailer and to further build its presence online.
Asda also intends to refocus on everyday low prices (EDLP), Bond said, although he acknowledged that, in a fiercely competitive market, that was a message clouded by a plethora of promotions.
The retailer will hope it is a cloud easier to break through than one containing volcanic ash.
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
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