Asda is rolling out a community “barter board” scheme across its stores nationally next year in a bid to help customers cut costs during the recession.
The scheme allows shoppers to exchange skills and services free. The national launch follows trials of the system in four of its supermarkets last month.
Asda says the barter boards have been a huge success in the stores where they have been tested. So far, the scheme has been operating in Asda supermarkets in the Scottish town of Elgin, Colne in Lancashire, Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and Tonypandy in South Wales.
The supermarket chain adds that the initiative sees a return to traditional community values, and helps the individual supermarkets engage without resorting to traditional above- the-line advertising.
The chain says the trials were part of its “local week” drive last month, which showcased local products and offered customers the chance to sample locally produced foods.
The initiative is in line with Asda’s commitment to use local supply hubs and reduce the number of “food miles” products travel to
Asda says the barter boards have led to people exchanging everything from surfing to guitar lessons. In Elgin, a tiler swapped a tiling job with a local decorator who carried out finishing work for the tiler.