The UK food retailing market has been evidently dominated by four major supermarkets (see appendix.1), accounts for over 60% of entire food retail sales. According to previous research (Ng, 2012), this sector becomes intensive competitiveness. It has reflected a strong tendency on adoption of sustainability to exploit new sales opportunities.
The purpose of this report is to examine the impact of sustainability on operation of ASDA, the second supermarket market in the UK, through evaluation of sustainability in food retail sector and analysis of ASDA’s current performance. It concludes with some reflections on importance sand impacts of adoption of sustainability and offers more viable recommendations for further development.
The effectiveness of sustainability on food retailing has been frequently argued by recent academic researchers (Millington & Williams, 2004; Clark, 2005; Jones, et. al, 2005; Jones, et.al, 2009; Wrap, 2008; WBCSD, 2008; Darragh, 2010; Coley, et al., 2011; Perks, 2011 cited on Ng, 2012). These arguments tend to focus on two aspects: value and commitments delivery.
One of the arguments in support of sustainability is that; it helps addressing price inflation pressures by offering discount priced products (Perks, 2011). This argument, however, was against by both previous & recent academics (Millington & Williams, 2004; Jones, et.al, 2009 & Ng, 2011), that food retailers recognise and being able to obtain a bundle of benefits from deployment of sustainability, for example, cost savings.
This position goes on to further argue that sustainability commitments are exaggerated and inconsistent delivered (Jones, 2005; Clark, 2005; Coley, et al., 2011). However, sustainability commitments have also receiving merits as WBCSD (2008) and Darragh (2010) pointed out: (1) consumers awareness increase; (2) sustainable issues decline and (3) consumers expenditure on sustainable products increase despite turbulent economy impact.
Both sides of arguments are rational, but it remains clear that: whether a food retailer effectively pursue a sustainability model takes account of its advantages and disadvantages (see appendix. 2)(Ng, 2011).