Employer profile: Asda, the UK's third biggest food retailer
What it’s like to work at one of the UK's largest supermarkets
We buy our everyday goods like food and toiletries from supermarkets, but what is it like to work for one? In this guide, you’ll learn all about working at Asda, what apprenticeship opportunities are available, and how to apply.
Asda at a glance:
|Career sectors||Retail and sales, administration, business, logistics|
|Post-school pathways options|
Joe Kestin, who is a Future Talent Specialist, tells us what it’s really like to work for the company.
What does Asda do?
Asda is a British supermarket, and the third biggest food retailer in the UK. We have 24-hour superstores, supermarkets, in-store cafes, pharmacies, and petrol stations, and we sell a wide range of products in-store and online, including groceries, clothing, electronics, and homeware.
Whilst we’re best known for being a food and grocery retailer, we’re also a tech, fashion, finance, and online business.
Where is Asda based?
We have over 500 stores and 30 distribution centres across the UK.
Our head office is in Leeds, and our service centre is in Morley. We also have a separate headquarters for George, our clothing brand, which is based in Lutterworth.
One of the coolest things about our head office is that we have 18 different kitchens where you can walk around and see our development chefs creating our latest delicious recipes. Even cooler is that we have taste testers that get to try out all our foods before they hit our stores!
What is Asda’s work environment like?
The food and grocery industry is a fast-paced place to be. One of the things I’ve really noticed since working at Asda is that everyone shares a genuine enthusiasm for getting stuff done and for making things as best as they can be for our customers.
You’re truly becoming part of a family when joining Asda and so many of our staff have been with us for 10, 20, or even 30 years!
There are also lots of fun activities throughout the year. One of my favourites is the Summer Asda House Get Together where staff can bring along their families to eat tasty summer foods in the sunshine.
What are some of the most common entry-level roles at Asda?
We have three different degree apprenticeships programmes which are available in retail, logistics, and buying and merchandising.
Our Buying & Merchandising Degree Apprenticeship (Leeds) is one of our most popular programmes. It's a three-year programme where you’ll learn all about sourcing, selecting, maintaining, and delivering the right products to meet customer demand and business objectives. You’ll also study for the Assistant Buyer & Assistant Merchandiser Level 6 qualification in partnership with the Fashion Retail Academy.
What are the entry requirements for these roles?
Each programme has different requirements but to apply for one of our Degree Apprenticeship programmes you’ll need GCSEs in mathematics and English Language at grade 9-4, and a minimum of 104 UCAS points at A level (BCC) or equivalent. Check our website for our most up-to-date information as some programmes have higher entry requirements.
What are some jobs at Asda that you might not expect?
We have food scientists analysing food trends and developing new products, and buyers and fashion designers who are responsible for sourcing products from across the world and bringing them to our stores.
We also have technology teams who implement AI, data modelling techniques, robotics, and automation to improve our warehouse, store, and logistical operations.
For example, one of the interesting things our technology team is trialling at the moment in collaboration with Wayve, an artificial intelligence developer, is self-driving delivery vans to see if they can help with supporting customers at some of our busiest stores!
What skills does Asda look for in applicants?
Whilst we have a wide variety of roles, some of the key skills we look for are: teamwork, leadership, problem solving, an ability to innovate, and communication.
You’ll have a combination of in-person and online assessments like a personality test, an aptitude test, a video interview, and an assessment centre.
The assessment centre is the most in-depth part of the process and here you’ll take part in a group exercise which simulates an everyday work problem. You’ll also have an interview and you might even be delivering a pitch depending on the role that you’re applying for.
What is one top tip to help an entry-level applicant succeed at getting into Asda?
The main thing that we assess is whether your responses, behaviours, and personal values match with our company values so spend some time really understanding and reflecting on where these might link. Be genuine in your responses as we really want to get to know who you are.
What work experience or internship opportunities are there at Asda?
We don’t currently have any formal work experience programmes but if you’re really passionate about getting experience in our business, please reach out to us via your local store and we’ll see what we can do.
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