Why doesn't ASDA Love Battersea anymore?
Almost 2 years to the day that ASDA triumphantly announced that it had re-branded
its Lavender Hill store as being in Battersea, finally ditching the incorrect "Clapham" label, the company has caused great offence in Battersea by completely ignoring its original re-launch in November and December 2008 by relaunching its re-vamped
store as "ASDA Clapham".
Proud Battersea people have been deeply upset on entering the ASDA site by the array of new signs, even
one within full view of Lavender Hill. Worse even, huge posters appeared for a time around Battersea stating Lavender Hill was in Clapham.......incredible that Battersea's much loved and world famous Lavender Hill
should be so wrongly located in another town in another London Borough even. Don't misunderstand us,
Clapham is a great place, but it isn't in Battersea - both have their special places in our hearts but are in
different places and deserve correct geographic recognition and branding.
The pictures below tell their own very sad and upsetting story:
See these stories for proof of how ASDA has betrayed its promise to Battersea:
>> ASDA re-launch in Battersea - pictures and story (1st December 2008) >> Major victory for campaign as ASDA re-launches with new Battersea name (27th
November 2008 - with a copy of ASDA's own press release headed "ASDA Re-launches with
new Battersea name")
This has caused great dismay and a deep sense of hurt across Battersea. Reactions have varied from
outright anger and a sense of complete betrayal at this apparent corporate indifference, to utter bemusement.
When challenged, staff and managers at ASDA have been reported as saying that they believed the store
was in Clapham and are even said to have shown an absolute lack of interest or sensitivity about the issue
- some managers have even been said to have laughed. Oddly, one said that they knew it was in Battersea.
How would ASDA react if the media started to refer to them in news stories as 'Tesco'? An immediate
instruction would wing its way from Walmart HQ to sort it out pronto!
To the shock and amazement of Battersea (as reported in the London Evening Standard on Friday
29th November) an ASDA spokesman has said the company will hold a ballot amongst its customers
to decide the local name. This is believed to be the first time in British history that a supermarket is seeking to re-name an ancient place-name and proud community of England by a vote of its customers.
So, how can an American behemoth like Walmart, have a subsidiary in the UK called ASDA, who rights the
wrong it has made to Battersea over many years by a re-launch SW11tch Back to Battersea with great
publicity in 2008, causing huge delight, then cause grave offence by a complete volte-face two years later,
without the local management even seemingly being aware or remembering the way in which it delighted Battersea only 2 years earlier.
We are at a loss to know.
Why would any corporation give an impression of insensitivity about the community within which it is
located, and that community's proud history?
Reasons why such an error could occur within any corporation could be thought to arise from any of
- a lack of interest in the place the store is located, its people and the proud history of its community?
- an absence of basic geographic knowledge?
- a deliberate attempt to wind-up The Battersea Society?
- the arrival of new management who have no knowledge of what has gone before?
- a head office far far away without a corporate memory of even its own press releases?
- no true community engagement?
- policies imposed by distant management who couldn't care anything for where a store is other than its profit?
- following the maps on Google that place Clapham in the Heart of Battersea, rather than the UK's own excellent AtoZ map company or Ordnance Survey?
We don't believe any of these are the cause of this error by ASDA.
We believe that this must be a very great mistake that ASDA is hugely embarrassed
by and must surely be very very keen to rectify. If Walmart's or ASDA's CEOs knew
of this they would surely act immediately to stand up for Battersea - we have faith
that this is true!
Two years ago, Battersea thought it had discovered a huge global corporation who really cared and could
What has happened since?
Two years ago, ASDA had a manager named Andrew Holmes who showed all who knew him in Battersea
that "he got it" and understood the hurt of many years caused by ASDA's wrong branding of its store which it
claimed was in 'Clapham'.
So, the call from the people of Battersea is clear:
BRING BACK ANDREW HOLMES OR FAILING THAT GIVE BATTERSEA LOCAL
AND UK LEADERSHIP FOR ASDA THAT IS PREPARED TO SHOW THAT IT REALLY CARES ABOUT BATTERSEA AND RESPECTS ITS HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY!
Moves are afoot to take coordinated action uniting a broad front of Battersea, London and national interests
and people to ask ASDA to think again and turn itself back proudly once more to Battersea - once and for
all without any further slap in the face to this wonderful place called Battersea.
There are thousands of Walmart and ASDA stores around the world, but across the globe there is only ONE BATTERSEA - its precious to us.
We ask ASDA to please please Love Battersea
and show you really care about this great place !!!
If you care about Battersea and want to see this mistake corrected and ASDA declare its
true love for Battersea evermore, then please write to your local MP and others: