Modern Marketing

Asda marketers at risk in head office cull

By Seb Joseph | News editor

January 18, 2016 | 3 min read

Asda is set to downsize its marketing team as part of cuts that could impact hundreds of jobs at its head office.

The Drum understands that some of the retailer’s marketers are currently going through redundancy consultation, which could precede a restructure of those left.

Asda had not responded to The Drum's request for comment at the time of writing.

It is not known the exact number of roles at risk but sources cited by Sky News admit that it could be in the hundreds.

Other reports claim that merchandising and category planning roles are also part of the cuts. It comes just days after Asda announced it would invest an additional £500m in price drops this year in an attempt get more shoppers through its doors.

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The company, which saw its market share shrivel over the festive period, released a statement to Sky News to confirm the sweeping changes.

"It’s well documented that in recent years, customers have radically changed the way they shop. We were the first of the 'big four' to recognise this and launch a new strategy in 2013 yet the external pressures have accelerated at an increasingly rapid rate over the last 18 months.

"As a result, the industry faces major challenges and the certainty of permanent structural change. In the context of this, we also have to further change the way we do business. Today, we have started to talk to our colleagues in head office functions about what this means for them. We have made some difficult but necessary decisions but we must discuss these with our colleagues before we talk publicly."

The retailer is yet to reveal its sales figures for Christmas but analysts predict a 3.5 per cent loss. 2015 was a year of transition for Asda with a shake-up of its executive team elevating Barry Williams to the role of chief customer officer.

The next 12 months are likely to see a radical shake-up to the retailer’s approach to buying, which it has suggected will impact the way it markets its products.

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