Asda joins supermarkets price cuts war and raises workers’ pay from July

The Lancashire-based billionaire Issa Brothers have vowed to cut some prices at their Asda supermarkets and raise employees wages.

By Tim Gavell
Monday, 25th April 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 3:12 pm

The firm has revealed plans to invest more than £73m to support customers and staff during the cost-of-living crisis over the next year.

The supermarket group said it is reducing the price of over 100 popular items, including tea bags, rice and cheddar cheese, for the year as part of the measures.

It added that the investment means shop floor workers will see their hourly rate increase to £10.10 from July.

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Born in Lancashire, Mohsin and Zuber Issa began their careers working in their father’s local petrol station. Now they own EG group and Asda

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The moves come a week after the company said it will axe its Smart Price range and replace it with new Just Essentials by Asda products, which it said comprises a broader range of products.

Asda, which was bought by the Blackburn-based Issa brothers and backers TDR Capital last year, has become the latest supermarket to push down prices of some items as households come under increased financial pressure.

Earlier on Monday, rival Morrisons said it would cut the price of around 500 items including eggs, beef and nappies amid the rising cost of living.

Asda has said it will cut the price of 100 goods and raise staff wages in July

It said products covered by the “dropped and locked” price pledge will see an average reduction of 12 per cent, including a 25 per cent drop in the price of a bag of Asda easy cook rice to 75p.

It comes as retailers reported a 3.3 per cent increase in food inflation last month, which is expected to rise further.

The group also confirmed it will increase its pay rate to £10.10 per hour from July, 60p more than the National Living Wage.

Mohsin Issa, co-owner of Asda, said: “We know that household budgets are being squeezed by an increasing cost of living and we are committed to doing everything we can to support our customers, colleagues and communities in these exceptionally tough times.

“We’re standing side by side with the families and communities who are juggling so many demands at the moment.

“We’re taking unprecedented action to give families some additional stability and certainty in their weekly shopping by lowering and locking over 100 prices until the end of the year.

“We’re also proud to be investing in increasing the pay for our hard-working store colleagues and continuing to support the communities we are part of.”

The news has been welcomed by unions.

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: “It is fantastic news that people working in Asda stores will have more money in their pockets. It is what they deserve and urgently needed with the rising cost of living.

“GMB members in stores across the country have been campaigning hard to get Asda bosses to deliver better pay. We're glad they have listened.

“Retail workers, predominantly women, face the reality of living with low pay every day. Employers everywhere need to step up and properly reward these key workers who keep our high streets running.”