Supermarket Asda is piloting a programme to improve community involvement, as employees have been given dedicated time to find new ways to serve their neighbours.
Speaking at the 2011 IGD conference yesterday, Andy Clarke, Asda President and CEO, announced that the Community Life Champions initiative has been rolled out in 31 stores nationwide as consumers look to their local communities during tough economic times.
Clarke commented: “In the UK, what people want and need in their lives now is a sense of ownership, unity and security.
“This is the new wealth. And it can only be found in community.
“The retailer that innovates around community and operates with the consent of community will be the retailer of the future.”
Earlier this week, data analysts Springboard revealed that footfall to UK provincial towns was up year-on-year in September with consumers choosing to shop locally and support their town centres.
Community Life will be rolled out to all 500-plus Asda stores and depots across the UK in the first quarter of 2012.
Continuing its focus on value for money, the grocer recently attacked competitor Tesco for its much-lauded Big Price Drop, claiming that their price guarantee ended the prospect of price wars.
The retailer aims to reduce cost wherever possible and feels that the current economic climate has reminded customers of the importance of community.
“Government cutbacks are creating a shift in British society toward more reliance on communities - whether it’s for healthcare, education or making ends meet during a rough patch,” Clarke added.
“Community Life is another big step to being a better part of the daily lives of our customers.
“At Asda, we’ve set the goal to be number one for community in the UK. Retail must lead, and Asda will lead retail.”