Published reports say that Walmart-owned Asda Group in the UK is working to eliminate as many as one-third of the SKUs in 10 grocery categories, a move that the company says will save it significant money. Chief Merchandising Officer Darren Blackhurst says that this is a “less is more” approach that will remove clutter and give better performing brands more space.
- KC's View:
- As long as Asda keeps the right two-thirds, this is a smart decision…though inevitably there will be customers and manufacturers that will be disenfranchised by this move.
It also will give some competitors an opening, as they will argue that they have a better selection more in tune with customer needs.
But if Asda sticks to its guns and makes a persuasive argument for why it has made this move, the result should be mostly on the upside…especially in a recessionary economy during which shoppers want retailers to advocate for them. (And that’s the key to the argument…that this is being done to help consumers shop more efficiently and effectively.)