Asda is to review its business to develop a wide-ranging strategic plan for the next five years and equip it for the changing retail landscape.
The grocer has hired consultancy McKinsey & Company to analyse strategy and help position it most effectively in a turbulent wider retail market, Retail Week can reveal.
The new plan, under the leadership of chief executive Andy Clarke, is likely to put boosting Asda’s multichannel credentials at its heart. Clarke last month described multichannel as the “growth engine of the future”.
It is likely that key elements of a five-year plan set out by former Asda chief executive Andy Bond just three years ago will be rewritten. Then, Bond outlined “a new chapter for future growth”. Bond’s strategy included becoming the number one non-food retailer in the UK by 2015, including the opening of 150 Living Stores and creating a “world class dotcom operation”.
However the conditions faced by retailers generally and the rapid development of the online business since have prompted Asda’s directors to initiate the new review.
It comes after a significant reshuffle of Asda’s executive team last month, although McKinsey’s appointment is not directly linked to the management changes.
Asda revealed that well regarded chief operating officer Judith McKenna is to move to Bentonville to work for Walmart’s international business where she will be executive vice-president, strategy and international development.
McKenna will not be directly replaced. Her responsibilities will be assumed by retail director Mark Ibbotson, executive director of store proposition Karen Hubbard and chief marketing officer Steve Smith.
Asda is expected to report flat Christmas like-for-like sales growth when it updates on its fourth-quarter tomorrow.