The company had its origin even back to 1920’s as Associated Dairies. On one hand the boarded up premises along Glasgow Road had been demolished and a new, modern commercial hub had appeared in Low Blantyre. On the other hand, some businesses and individuals, including homes, were casualties of that development, either having to relocate or retire. Many shopkeepers however, could not relocate and felt that they would not be able to compete with such a giant coming to our town.
Part of ASDA’s development included the building of Clydeview Shopping Centre on redeveloped land between Victoria Street and Logan Street on the site of the former Central Buildings and where the former Stonefield Primary School had been. Whilst some successful businesses have thrived in the location, there are many empty retail units in the shopping centre, primarily due to excessive rates, way beyond most local small enterprises would pay. The closed shutters of the precinct, as you drive by on Glasgow Road, give the impression of dereliction. The problem is also the units cannot be let for businesses that compete directly with ASDA’s own products. The precinct has seen many businesses come and go at this location and more recently attracted charity shops. Of course, rather than condemning ASDA, which many people do when they talk of Blantyre’s history and lost character, remember too, that ASDA have been a source of employment for thousands of people over the decades in Blantyre and still attracts many residents for their weekly shopping and fuel. Asda became part of the Walmart chain in July 1999. In August 2009, Walmart “sold” Asda for £6.9 billion to their Leeds-based investment subsidiary Corinth Services Limited.
Asda originally had a “simple and fresh” store format, which under Director Archie Norman’s team and the focus on a Walmart style strategy became more emphasised. The stores are generally white and green, with simplistic layout but built on a Walmart larger footprint format – Asda’s average store is almost 20% bigger than its rivals. In 2004, it introduced its George brand of clothing to the store. It is estimated ASDA alone have approximately 17.5% of the overall UK retail market share for food.
Even until only a few years ago, the ASDA Blantyre Petrol Station had a kiosk and was operated by staff, rather than the self service we’re used to now. I worked in that petrol station part time in 1988 along with a girl a little older than me called Joan Tierney. It was an early start at the weekends, even before the store opened and no sign of any kind of self service payment. Similarly there appears to be a trend towards self service in the store too with several self checkouts installed between 2011 and 2014. Who would have thought in 1980, we’d one day be able to walk into a store and have technology trust us enough to pay without an operator! Pictured in 2009 is my photo of Clydeview Shopping Centre, perhaps some people will remember the carpet shops at the corner that have come and gone over the years Hawkhead, Jem and even once a pound shop. (which I have to admit, was quite good)
With so many people once and currently employed at ASDA, I’d love to hear your stories , memories or tales of any characters who were once there.
Opinion was divided on Social Media:
Y have a long term lease ,is that right
I don’t go near Asda though, avoid it like the plague…
The places all look like ghost towns compared to how they were 30 years ago . You don’t hear of wee boys going into butchery or fish mongering any more because everybody buys it all under the one roof .
Have staff been paid off or hours reduced due to them ?