NEWS1 October 2009

Asda promises customers a say on product decisions


UK— Retailer Asda is promising customers a greater say in what products appear on store shelves through an initiative called Chosen by You, which builds on the work of its shopper survey panel Pulse of the Nation.

Pulse of the Nation has amassed 18,000 members over the past year and a half, and they will now be invited to collaborate on the development of new products and to try them out before they go on general sale.

The Chosen by You initiative was unveiled this morning by CEO Andy Bond, who said: “My ambition for Asda is to actively involve customers in every aspect of the business, to lift the lid on how we do things, and enable our customers to help make decisions that have an impact on what we sell and how we sell it.”

He pitched the plans – including the launch of an “access all areas” blog called Aisle Spy – as a response to the recent “sharp decline in trust in government and business” which has given rise to a new era of “democratic consumerism”.

“Events over the past year mean that faith in big businesses is lower than it’s ever been – because people have stopped trusting what’s going on behind closed doors,” said Bond. “Our aim is to be a truly open, accessible and transparent business so that we can rebuild trust, and drive customer loyalty.”

Pulse of the Nation is managed by TNS. The Chosen by You initiative is scheduled to start early next year.