Top brands to boost Asda electrical offer

Asda is turning up the heat on electricals specialists such as Dixons and Comet by introducing major brands, including Sony, JVC and Panasonic, for the first time.

The number two grocer has been selling electrical goods for five years. It has made inroads into the market through value brands Schneider and Pacific, both of which are exclusive to Asda owner Wal-Mart.

The arrival this week of such big names spells a major breakthrough.

Some 40 branded products have been added to Asda's range in its 11 category-killing Supercentres. Asda general manager for electronics David Stewart said: 'As we grow in this market, customers tell us they want to see higher-value items on our shelves.

'Customer trust is increasing in Asda as a serious electricals retailer. We will do all we can to give customers the choice of products they want at the premium end of the market, as well as the value sector,' he said.

Products on offer include Sony home cinema systems, priced at£348.97, 28-inch Panasonic flat-screen TVs at£499.97, and JVC micro hi-fis at£98.97. Asda is also offering Toshiba goods. It will see how all the products perform before deciding whether to roll them out to other stores.

Retail Knowledge Bank research director Robert Clark said: 'This could shake up the whole of the electricals market. Some of the fundamentals in electrical pricing in the UK could be on the way out, and this is likely to expose a company such as Dixons.'