01 June 1998

THE UK'S THIRD largest supermarket chain Asda has confirmed its intention to move into electronic home shopping via digital TV and the Web. Chief executive Alan Leighton reported plans for six interactive shopping programmes on digital satellite TV in the run-up to Christmas 1999. The chain also aims to have its own dedicated shopping channel next year. 'This could be the most exciting initiative, the opportunity to make this a mass market', said Leighton. Chairman Archie Norman then stepped into the spotlight [his second favourite position] to outline Asda's plans to sell internationally via the Web. He also reported record sales of £8.2 billion and pre-tax profits of £404.9m for the year to 2 May.