Managing director, George at Asda
Of all the value players, George at Asda, spearheaded by its managing director Anthony Thompson, continues to be the biggest market mover. In October, George overtook Primark to become the UK’s largest clothing retailer by volume, a move driven by Thompson’s aggressive, annual back-to-school campaign, which this year was characterised by both a value and a quality message, via a 100-day money-back guarantee scheme for Asda mums.
It remains to be seen whether George will hang on to its number one spot - industry sources suggest not - but even so, Thompson delivered 18 months early on his three-year mission, set in March of last year.
Interestingly, he claims to no longer be interested in market share, replacing it with an emphasis on customer needs.
Thompson continues to be one of the value sector’s most outspoken characters, setting the agenda and targets for the grocers year on year. His work on ethical sourcing continues, while he insists George’s prices will not go up next year despite the impending VAT rise.