From Netto to Asda – checking out the Gateshead store’s transformation

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via CannyInsights.com and CannySites.com. Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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12 Responses

  1. John says:

    Well I for one am rather pee’d off at the Asda conversions, like I have mentioned here many times. We’ve now go two within walking distance of each other in Gosforth, you can literally walk between them in 10 minutes.

    Our purpose built Netto was an asset to the North Gosforth, Red House Farm and Wansbeck Road communities. Everyday items like vegetables, pepsi, washing powder, bleach, frozen foods were always at least 10-15% cheaper than Asda and their special offers were unbeatable. It closed on Saturday and now we’re going to have another Asda. Everyone I talk to rolls their eyes at it. A small Morrisons or an Aldi would have been the preferred choice so we’d actually have some choice in this suburb. There’s now an Asda in Westerhope, Cramlington, Benton, Gosforth, Gosforth Wansbeck Road. All within a 5 mile radius of my home. Not exactly competitive is it ?

    Hopefully the Gosforth Wansbeck Road store under achieves being so close to the 24 hour Asda and we get something else.

  2. Nice visit Graham, I think their conversion work has been widely seen as a good thing but the 50% uplift talk isn’t a ‘true’ picture as such considering Netto lost interest in the stores as Dansk looked to leave the UK and the stores were always a bit down market.

    The true test will be the viability of the model when they expand further, they’ve targetted 250 but they also did the same with Asda Living but that remains stagnant with store count well below their internal targets.

    Also like for like sales when Asda have been in control for a year will also be interesting, can they develop the model further?

    It seems their frequent achilles heel – availability is a continual challenge in the supermarkets as a few of your pictures show huge gaps on the shelves. As a pledge says in the warehouses of some main stores ‘stock it and they will come’.

  3. Ian says:

    I think by moving the self-service entrance elsewhere and repositioning the lottery/cigarette counter to the beer corner (a rather large waste of floorspace for a relatively small amount of goods – see the picture above!) would not only make accessing cigarettes and lottery more convenient when doing the rest of your shop, but would also free up space for two more checkouts.

    Now that it’s open I’m not sure if there would be an opportunity to make any further changes, but those would be my improvements.

  4. I’ve popped in to the store twice I think mainly because it’s on the felling bypass and convenient when coming out of gateshead Stadium and the till issue is a major gripe.

    if they made the self checkout 10 items or less (or handbaskets only)they could clear the ques a lot quicker. But as it stands the staff are pulling people with full weekly shops out of the cue to show them how to use it! and it takes them twice as long as a standard till to get sorted.

  5. WillPS says:

    Could it be a case of ASDA underestimating how busy the stores were likely to be? They have been trading remarkably well.

    Difficult to know how they could solve the problem as well; the till area is already pretty imaginatively laid out.

  6. Ian says:

    It’s a really great asset having it practically on my doorstep and the range is unbelievable when compared to the meagre offerings of its predecessor. Having said that, I haven’t done a weekly shop there despite it being literally 60 seconds from my door. It’s strange when I think about it, as on thinking about what I buy on a weekly basis they definitely stock everything I need.

    When it comes down to it, I think what puts me off doing my weekly shop there is the checkout area. In busy periods it’s an absolute nightmare – the queues will trail far back into the store as the three checkouts struggle to cope with the sheer number of people and the self-checkout grinds to a halt as people with little experience of using the machines attempt to put an entire week’s worth of shopping through the scanners with little success. The most I’ve ever bought is around 10 items and anything more than this I wouldn’t even consider purely because I dread going to the checkout.

    It’s definitely something they need to address and I’ve noticed that since its opening the number of people visiting has rapidly declined and I wonder if the checkout experience plays a massive part in this.

    • Graham Soult says:

      Good point Ian! The store and checkouts were very hectic on the Saturday afternoon that I was there, so I’d certainly think twice about returning at a peak time. Monday morning was a delight though

  7. WillPS says:

    I was very pleasantly surprised to see the conversion take place so quickly. The stores are excellent little places in their own right; the space has been used very imaginatively.

    The entrance is a bit weird though; I feel they should look in to changing to a normal, wide, open door as most convenience stores have.

    But yeah, the whole thing is overwhelmingly positive.

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