Asda chairman Andy Bond has said retailers need to revaluate how they engage shoppers of the future, hailing them as the “net generation”.
Bond, due to speak at a conference as Retail Week went to press, said retail is entering a “digital revolution”.
He said retailers should embrace the desire from consumers to have more control, drive greater transparency and harness consumers’ desire to innovate.
He said: “This isn’t about losing control of your business, it’s about a genuine belief that you’ll run a better business by letting go and allowing your customers to have a greater say in what goes on.”
He explained that Asda has embarked on an initiative called Chosen By You, whereby customers can approve its own-brand products before they go on sale. Nearly 4,000 products are being road tested until October, and changes will be made if needed. For example, it consulted 1,000 mums on its school uniforms and made changes such as length of zips, and added adjustable hems.
It is also encouraging reviews of its products to be posted on Facebook, and has created a scheme called ‘Bright Ideas’, where it rewards customers if their ideas save the company money.