Budget clothes demand lifts Asda and Primark

Shoppers' demand for budget clothes helped supermarket Asda and retailer Primark take Reputation Monitor's top two slots this week.

A survey found 84 per cent of Asda shoppers were happy to buy their clothes from the store's George range. And as the store announced a recruitment drive for 850 new shop-floor staff, it should have plenty of people on hand to serve them.

Primark's success in what some have dubbed the 'proud realisers of added value' (Prav) market was attributed to the quality of low-price clothing and their coverage in fashion pages.

However, Marks & Spencer's clothing division continued to struggle. Amid declining overall sales, CEO Stuart Rose's right-hand man Charlie Wilson quit to take the helm at cash-and-carry firm Booker.

Meanwhile, a dispute over pre-race data saw William Hill triumph over the British Horseracing Board. The BHB later lost out in a similar dispute to media channel At The Races.

William Hill also signed a £15m deal that will see 28 of its shops taken over by the Tote. Some papers asked whether it was an attempt to avoid regulatory run-ins over the May buy of Stanley Leisure's betting estate.

Reputation Monitor is compiled from Thomson Intermedia's National News Index, a measure of media sentiment that excludes stock market reports and passing mentions.

REPUTATION MONITOR 12-18 July 2005 Ranking Rank last week Organisation NNI Best performers 1 1,202 Asda 178.2 2 25 Primark 164.3 3 1 Tesco 141.5 4 3 William Hill 111.8 5 2 Sainsbury's 75.2 Worst performers* 1 54 Marks & Spencer -194.6 2 904 MyTravel -113.9 3 956 British Horseracing Board -103.2 4 10 MG Rover -71.4 5 13 Railtrack -36.5 Source: www.newsmetrics.co.uk/Thomson Intermedia plc *Rank last week is position from bottom of table

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