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  • Wal-Mart’s Asda Group in the UK reportedly has decided to launch the first salvo in the annual Christmas price cut competition among that nation’s retailers – cutting prices on 40 popular games, which it says will make the items 30 percent cheaper than most toy stores.

  • Andy Bond, CEO of Wal-Mart’s Asda Group in the UK, tells The Times there that he has a lot of faith in a new stand-alone nonfoods format, Asda Living. "I am very excited about what we have seen from this (non-food) format,” he tells the paper. “Wherever we have got them, they are by far the busiest in those locations. We have got something that customers like."

    According to the paper, Bond believes the best way to compete with Tesco – which he says has a clear real estate advantage in the marketplace – is to create new formats (which include the stand-alone George fashion-oriented stores it has opened) and offer new services, such as banking. “We have a brilliant clothing offer recognized by customers as a credible brand,” he says. “Our purchasing power with Wal-Mart gives a price point that is unmatchable on general merchandise ranges, which we are improving all the time.”

    Bond says that while he would not want the government to create regulations perceived as non-competitive, “one of the unintended consequences of the planning rules is that it is unlikely the competitive landscape will be defined by competitive advantage. It is defined by who has got the land."

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