Asda lauches home shopping

Supermarket giant Asda has unveiled a direct telephone-based book, video and music retailing service, with plans to launch the scheme on the Internet next year.

The service, Asda@Home, will operate through a dedicated call centre, offering customers a choice of 147,00 book titles, 7,000 videos and 120,000 CD and audio cassette titles.

The chain is pledging to match the heavy discounting offered by existing virtual book and record shops, such as, with discounts of between 20 and 45 per cent on the recommended prices for high street retailers.

Asda’s home and leisure director Sioned Rees-Thomas says the move is aimed at expanding the retailer’s existing four per cent share of the “4bn entertainment market”. The company confirms that it is not linking with an existing Web-based electronic retailer to create the Asda- branded service.

One source within the electronic book-selling sector suggests Asda’s decision to launch a telephone-based direct sales operation ahead of an Internet launch shows the chain is fully committed to building a direct retail fulfilment capacity in-house, alongside wholesale and distribution partners.

But managing director Simon Murdoch questions whether offering phone-based search facilities through call-centre operators can achieve the same transactional efficiencies as those offered by a purely Web-based service.

He adds: “To get things right, Asda will have to offer excellence in pricing, range of selection, and service. And that will demand a great investment in developing its support systems.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here