Asda sets out plans to improve in-store customer experience

Asda has today announced three change proposals as part of its ongoing efforts to improve customer experience in its stores and drive sustainable growth for the future.

The supermarket is proposing to replace the overnight ambient and frozen shifts in 184 smaller superstores, with colleagues restocking ambient products between 7pm and midnight, and frozen products between 7am and 1pm instead.

The proposed change would mean more colleagues are on the shop floor during opening hours and follows trials which delivered improvements in customer satisfaction and product availability.

If this proposal goes ahead, it could lead to the removal of up to 211 night shift manager roles and a change to the working patterns of circa 4,137 hourly-paid colleagues. This proposal retains the number of hours available for colleagues to work in each store, but would see the removal of night shift premium paid to these colleagues on top of their existing hourly rate.

As well as the proposed shift changes, Asda is proposing a 22% reduction in colleague hours for all 23 in-store Post Office branches following a decline in the number of customers using this service. Four branches will also be marginally reducing their opening hours. This would affect 23 salaried Post Office Managers and 200 hourly-paid colleagues.

The supermarket is also proposing to close 7 of its 254 in-store pharmacies due to low customer usage, which would affect 48 hourly-paid colleagues and 14 pharmacists.

Ken Towle, Retail Director, noted, “The retail sector is evolving at pace and it is vital we review changing customer preferences, along with our own ways of working, to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible, so that we can continue to invest and grow our business.

'We are now entering a period of consultation with our colleagues on these proposals. We recognise this will be a difficult time for them and will do all we can to support them through this process.”