Speaking at an event in London today (11 December), Ayaz Alam, category director for electronics at Asda, admitted the supermarket is “looking into” its own tablet as sales grow. He added that any device would have to satisfy Asda customers’ needs and that it is in no rush to bring one to market.
“[Our own tablet] is something that we’re looking at. We want to make sure that if we did anything like that we are in a position to satisfy customers with exactly what they want.
“The competition has felt the need to go and invest quickly in their own-label tablets and some have done horrendously badly. We are not about to make the same mistake. We will make sure we launch with great quality and great value,” he said.
The firm already has an own electronics brand, Polaroid, that is only available in its stores and sells products such as headphones and digital radios. Alam said it has already doubled the range over the past year and that it is proving popular with customers, with sales of the Polaroid DAB radio up 200 per cent year on year.
He said the success comes because the brand offers the technology specs that customers expect at an accessible price point. It could expand the Polaroid range to tablets to make the product, which can cost in excess of £700, more affordable, he added.
Other retailers have already launched their own tablets as non-technology brands look to exploit demand for cheaper alternatives to Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. Aldi’s tablet, which went on sale on Sunday (9 December) for £79, sold out within 24 hours, although the supermarket said beforehand there would be limited availability.
Tesco, meanwhile, has sold more than 300,000 Hudls, which it launched in September and can cost as little as £60 for Clubcard holders. CEO Philip Clarke said the firm is struggling to keep up with demand and expects sales to exceed 600,000 in the run-up to Christmas.
Tablets are expected to be big sellers this Christmas, with Alam saying that electronics are becoming an essential part of gifting. He added that demand for electronics increases by 75 per cent during the festive period compared to the rest of the year, with tablets and headphones proving particularly popular this year.
Asda offers more expensive brands, such as Samsung and Apple, as well as cheaper products such as a Voyager tablet that costs £49.