ASDA and UK Food Retail

Former Vice President, Fresh, Frozen & Chilled at Asda and former Buying Director, Iceland Foods

Why is this interview interesting?

  • Key reasons hard discounters Aldi and Lidl have been able to take substantial market share from incumbent food retailers in the UK over the last decade
  • The role internal company incentives played in undermining the ability of Asda to respond adequately to the threat of the hard discounters
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Executive Bio

Karl Martin

Former Vice President, Fresh, Frozen & Chilled at Asda and former Buying Director, Iceland Foods

Karl has spent the majority of his career in food retailing, joining Sainsbury’s after graduating in the mid 1980s to work in the trading department. He joined Iceland in 1992 to eventually become trading director, responsible for all buying, with a position on the board of the company. After 5 years in senior commercial positions at UK facilities management business Sodexo, in 2010 Karl joined Asda, the UK’s second largest food retailer, to run the food trading team. At Asda he was responsible for fresh food, chilled food and frozen, categories with combined revenue of ~GBP 8bn and gross profit of ~GBP 3bn. Since leaving Asda Karl has taken on a range of consultancy roles, including a year working for Sainsbury’s Netto discounter concept, where he gained deep insight into the discounter retail format. Read more

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Interview Transcript

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