Asda posts increase in sales and market share

first_imgAsda owner WalMart has announced a like-for-like sales growth of 0.5% for the 10 weeks to 30 June 2014.Britain’s second largest retailer continues to focus on offering value and claims to have maintained ‘strong price gaps’ compared the those remaining in the big four.Grocery home shopping has also continued to grow with market share now at 18.4% while Click & Collect is driving e-commerce growth with more than 20,000 customers per week. Asda’s clothes brand George is now the second largest clothing retailer by volume in the UK. The retailer increased its market share year on year by 14bps and ‘made good progress’ on its itention to push online sales.Asda anticipates that over the next five years Click & Collect orders will treble with 30% of all orders expected to be collected in Asda stores. With this in mind, the retailer is continuing to innovate and develop its offer. In the last three months Asda has extended the hours customers are able to collect their shopping on a Sunday by four hours, driving a 20% uplift on the day’s orders.Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said that structural changes in the retail market continued to present tough challenges but that Asda had been quick to respond.’Unprecedented change’He said: “The last quarter has seen unprecedented change within the food retail sector, and whilst I do not underestimate the challenge currently presenting retailers, I am proud that our business identified and put plans in place to respond to these changes early. We have a clear five-year strategy based on Everyday Low Prices and we continue to implement that strategy with agility and pace.”The quarter also saw changes and improvements to Asda’s operational efficiency and management structure.“I am pleased with our performance in the quarter and our business has shown that it is well positioned to meet the demands of a challenging market,” said Clarke.“However, I’ve been in this business for too long to measure success by quarters and we remain on a long term journey. Innovation, low prices and customer service remain at the heart of our business and over the coming months and years we will continue to implement and build on this successful strategy as we constantly look at new and improved ways to run our business.”last_img read more

UN prods Latin America on abortion as Zika spreads

first_imgRelated posts:Zika alert: WHO declares global health emergency over spread of virus WHO advises against blood donations from people returning from Zika areas World Bank: Zika will cost Latin America $3.5 billion in 2016 Zika: Tragedy or Opportunity? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — The United Nations on Friday urged countries hit by the Zika virus to give women access to contraception and abortion, as health officials warned that sex or even kissing could potentially spread the disease.Women’s reproductive rights are a touchy subject in largely Catholic Latin America, where an outbreak of the virus is blamed for causing brain damage in babies and a potentially paralyzing nerve disorder.The U.N. human rights office said the countries now urging women to hold off getting pregnant over Zika fears — a list that comprises Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica — had to offer them the possibility of controlling their fertility.“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer … the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.Many Latin American countries outlaw abortion or allow it only if the mother’s life is in danger. In El Salvador, one of those warning against pregnancy, abortion is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.Brazil’s top research institute meanwhile said Zika, which is typically transmitted by mosquitoes, had been detected in urine and saliva, and warned that even kissing could pose a risk.The scientists were careful to clarify that there is no proof the virus can be transmitted through those fluids, but said people should take precautions, especially expecting mothers.“The measures are the classic ones used … for various other diseases that can be transmitted by saliva. Avoid sharing glasses, silverware, contact with someone who has symptoms of a possible infection. Don’t kiss, obviously,” said Paulo Gadelha, head of the Fiocruz institute in Rio de Janeiro.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for their part urged people to use condoms or abstain from having sex if they live in or have traveled to Zika-infected areas — currently 26 countries and territories in the Americas, according to the Pan American Health Organization.Earlier this week, U.S. health officials confirmed the first case of sexually transmitted Zika — a person who had traveled to Venezuela and infected a sexual partner in Texas upon return.In the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, officials declared a health emergency over Zika and confirmed a pregnant woman had been infected, bringing the number of cases on the island to 22.That followed a similar emergency declaration in the state of Florida.‘The science isn’t clear’The World Health Organization, which has declared the rise in Zika-linked birth defects an international emergency, warns that Zika could infect up to four million people in the Americas and spread worldwide.The WHO has advised countries against accepting blood donations from people who have traveled to affected regions.The new warnings on intimate contact highlight how little is known about Zika, a virus that was first identified in Africa in 1947 but had been considered relatively mild until the current eruption of apparent complications.“The science is not clear on how long the risk should be avoided,” the CDC admitted in its warning on sexual activity. “Research is now under way to answer this question as soon as possible.”The Brazilian scientists were likewise candid about the unknowns, saying more research was needed to determine whether saliva and urine were possible vectors.Brazil has been the country hardest hit by the outbreak, with 1.5 million cases.Zika often goes unnoticed, and causes a relatively mild fever and rash in those who do develop symptoms.But Brazil sounded the alarm after recording a surge in babies born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads and brains. It has registered 404 cases since October and 3,670 suspected cases, up from 147 in all of 2014.The timing, and the fact that many of the mothers were diagnosed with Zika or reported symptoms, have caused alarm over an apparent link with the virus.Zika is also blamed for an increase in cases of a potentially deadly neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.Read more:Costa Rica’s inclusion in Zika travel warning has tourism leaders worriedThe hidden environmental factors behind the spread of Zika and other devastating diseasesBrazil may have fewer Zika-related microcephaly cases than previously reported Facebook Commentslast_img read more