Rick Bendel says Asda Price Guarantee at heart of retailer’s marketing plans

Wal-Mart international chief marketing officer Rick Bendel has defended the Asda Price Guarantee, saying it will turn around the supermarket’s slowing growth.

In an exclusive interview with Marketing Week, he says the Asda Price Guarantee is an example of recognising the role of digital and home shopping to the shopping experience of UK customers.

When Asda introduced its Price Guarantee at the end of April, it came under fire from rivals, which called the initiative a “stunt” and inconvenient for shoppers, who are asked to go online to comparison check the prices after shopping at Asda.

Bendel says the initiative is an exercise in transparency and the “most extraordinary development” in marketing.

“If you can tell the truth about your prices compared to rivals – do it,” he adds.

In the latest supermarket market share figures, Asda saw its fifth consecutive quarter of slowing sales growth.

Bendel likens the Asda Price Guarantee to the launch of the Tesco Clubcard, which he says took four years to have an impact on the business, and says it will be the same at Asda.

He says that the initiative is one of the different ways the Wal-Mart-owned supermarket is looking to increase its number of customers, as is the recent acquisition of the Netto chain.

“There are no weak players in the supermarket sector now, which tests the capabilities of retailers to adapt to customers.

“We made a clear statement of strategy to build a nationwide network of smaller stores and now it will be a big, new sector for us.”

The £778m Netto deal is subject to Office of Fair Trading approval.

Read Rick Bendel’s views on Wal-Mart’s marketing academy here.

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