Supermarket Asda has been pushed from second place by big four competitor Sainsbury’s and in response, is making preparations to face its toughest year to date.
As a fresh mind can so often bring a fresh outlook on business, Asda is bracing itself for the storm, or rather dreary time ahead, by restructuring its senior management team in a bid to regain success.
Asda’s leadership turnaround is the latest example of store’s preparing for a challenging year, after fellow grocer Morrison’s recently revealed to be seeking a new chief executive, while Tesco also appointed Halford’s boss Matt Davies for the same role.
With Asda boss Andy Clarke stating that he sought greater stability at the top of the organisation - to oversee decision making as the new cycles of the financial year begin, other changes below the executive team have also been made.
The company’s Chief Merchandising Officer for Food, Barry Williams, is to become Chief Customer Officer, replacing Steve Smith who returned to Asda’s parent company Walmart after his secondment to the UK business. Following this, Chief Merchandising Officer, Andrew Moore, will now hold additional responsibility for food on top of existing commitments to Asda’s fashion line George. Underneath the executive team follows the appointment of Nick Jones as Managing Director for George. Five vice presidents are also to leave the company following these changes.
Clarke supported the shift, explaining that it would enable faster decision making, “through streamlined structures where colleagues are empowered under the leadership of fewer, bigger leadership roles.”
Due to the recent, demanding time for retailers, particularly within the grocery sector, Asda is now required to make tougher decisions if they want to clear an aisle to a more prosperous future.
In an attempt to get ahead of competition, plans emerged last July for Asda to axe up to 1300 jobs, which was recovered by the assurance that a further 5,630 would be created from its restructuring plans.
The company is making progressive strides in the right direction, however, as plans were unveiled last week to invest £330m in prices and improve upon online business. As grocers anticipate a highly competitive year ahead, price wars between stores are set to have unpredictable repercussions to the industry.