Asda hires Tesco marketeer in non-food push

Catherine Stewart to head up promotion of Living store push during 2008
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Asda has hired Tesco's former head of hard-lines marketing Catherine Stewart as it prepares to double the amount of its non-food outlets during 2008 to 26.

The UK's second largest supermarket chain's Asda Living outlets have so far struggled to become well known outside of the areas that they operate, but the retailer is hoping that Stewart will change that.

An Asda spokesman told Retail Week's James Thompson: "Catherine's remit is to raise awareness of our non-food offer at Asda Living for all customers, of all budgets and demographic profiles.

"We are committed to providing stores with a leisurely feel to them, making it easier for customers to browse our extensive non-food ranges."

Asda currently has 353 stores across the UK compared to Tesco, which has 1,988, yet manages to generate over half the business of its rival with five times less stores.

Retail Knowledge Bank senior partner Clark warned that the supermarket must open more stores if it is to maintain its current brand momentum and that awareness of its Living brand is 'fairly low'.

"Asda has the problem of not enough stores and space so, in the short and medium term, the format is important to sustain Asda's overall brand momentum and dynamism."

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