Blog: Dean BestAsda in demand

Dean Best | 11 November 2008

Need an injection of fresh ideas into your business? Where would you go? Management consultants? Investment banks? The answer, it seems, is Asda.

That's right, the business nous of the UK arm of Wal-Mart is in demand at the moment – at least if a charity auction in London last week is anything go by.

Friday afternoon (7 November) saw Caravan, a UK charity for those who have worked or are still working in the grocery sector, hold a fund-raising lunch in central London.

The event saw prizes donated by the food industry, including a day at the Cheltenham racing festival, up for grabs, while lots up for auction included a day of corporate hospitality at Lord's, the home of cricket, next summer.

However, the lure of having Darren Blackhurst, Asda's trading director, spend a day at your office proved hard to resist for some, with the lot raising GBP7,500 (US$11,707) for Caravan.

I'm sure Mr. Blackhurst has a wealth of business insight to pass on but the amount raised, well, raised eyebrows – especially when you consider that the box at Lord's raised a smidgeon more at GBP8,000... and another corporate junket at Wembley for the Carling Cup Final next March raised a smidgeon less.

Just-food could not be sure who won the Blackhurst prize but noticed that tables including a number of Asda personnel were instrumental in bidding up the value of the lot.

The identity of the winner proved something of a curiosity among the journalists at the event, who noted that surely in this business climate suppliers would want to see much less of their retail customers – not more.

To find our more about the Caravan charity, click here.


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