Following the blocked merger with Sainsbury’s, Walmart is considering listing Asda on the stock market at some point in the future.
Asda is owned by Walmart and its chief executive, Judith McKenna, is said to have told personnel that such listing is being considered. She said: “Walmart does not have a one size fits all approach to operating its international markets, but a consistent focus on strong local businesses powered by Walmart.” However, she confirmed that “While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an IPO – a public listing – to strengthen your long term success.”
CEO at Asda, Roger Burnley gathered over 1200 of its store, depot and Home Office managers together in Leeds to update on progress on its ongoing strategy and the future.
He told attendees to: “Forget the language of Plan A and Plan B – there has always been one clear strategy for Asda … it requires momentum in the short term, growth in the medium term and sustainability in the long term … we need to prioritise and focus on what will make a difference to customers versus what won’t.”
Burnley said they would “accelerate our price position”, as well as continue to invest in technology to ensure it provides a consistent and trusted customer experience, and grow where customers care.
In a series of presentations from Asda’s Senior Leadership, colleagues were briefed on plans to invest £80 million in the price throughout the rest of 2019, ensuring investment is in areas that are most important to customers.
McKenna added that any preparations for IPO would “take years” and that colleagues’ primary focus should remain on delivering its strategy to “make you the best Asda you can be.”
Concluding her address, McKenna told staff: “Now is the time to stay focussed. You can drive sales in your store and make a difference to your customers and colleagues. This is not a market where success comes easily or without a lot of effort, but you have the skills, the tools and most importantly the attitude to be successful.”
Closing the conference, Roger Burnley reminded colleagues: “We have a mountain to climb – continuing momentum, into growth, and ultimately, sustainability – but we can make a difference. We can be brilliant for our customers today. And we can be brilliant for our customers in the future.”