Wal-Mart owned ASDA has been celebrating its performance in the first quarter of the year. According to figures from retail market specialist TNS, ASDA is the UK’s fastest growing retailer, showing a nine percent improvement on figures last year. The company says it has “drawn a firm line under a period of recovery during which it re-evaluated its customer offer and pricing strategy as well as attracting one million new customers through its checkouts.”

The company will be creating 18 new stores and 8,000 new jobs across the UK this year and will be expanding its non-food format ‘Asda Living’ to a further 10 sites over the next 12 months.

Last year, the supermarket said that technology would be supporting the business and driving changes at the company, through its IT operations both in the US and the UK.

The IT function has carried out a number of initiatives over the last 12 months including a concerted attempt to take on the big online grocery market leaders, Tesco and Sainsbury. More than 150 of its 310 stores will offer online shopping by the autumn, giving the supermarket a similar geographical spread as the two leaders.

Its website has been updated and for those who still want to visit a store it has added a mapping service to help shoppers find their nearest shop.

It has also continued to regularly carry out asset renewals in conjunction with Wal-Mart in the US, as well as introducing innovations that are able to improve customer service. It continues to look at the best ways of using technology like RFID tags along with its parent company to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs.
ASDA is also, like its competitors in the retail sector, carrying out a programme of initiatives aimed at adhering to a green agenda and fulfilling a corporate social responsibility role.