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    Asda on expansion spree


    is set to open 168 stores in 2011, adding 1.8m sq ft of retail food space in, the largest single year of growth in its history. The additional space is a combination of planned organic growth and the acquisition of 147 Netto stores.

    The converted Netto stores will all trade under the Asda Supermarkets banner and will average 8,000 sq ft in size. Shoppers in those stores will be able to complete a full weekly shop, with the number of products increasing five-fold compared to an existing Netto store.

    Asda’s customers will also benefit from its national low price policy, which means prices do not differ from one store to the next, regardless of their size, format or location.

    In addition to the 147 Netto conversions, Asda will also add a further 550k sq ft of space organically, including the opening of seven new Asda Superstores, four new Asda Livings, ten new Asda Supermarkets and five extensions to existing Asda stores. Asda recently entered into a contract to acquire six stores from Focus DIY, which, subject to landlord’s approvals and appropriate local planning consents, will be converted into Asda Supermarkets.

    Judith McKenna, Asda chief financial officer, said: “The combination of acquiring 147 Netto stores together with our organic growth plans means we will be able to save customers more money than ever before. We’ll also create 1,500 jobs as we convert all of the Netto stores into Asda Supermarkets.”

    “I want to thank my colleagues sincerely both at Netto and Asda for their patience and dedication throughout. Since we announced our intention last May to purchase these stores, it has been a long, drawn out process. I’m confident, based on the plans in place, the integration will be a huge success,” McKenna added.

    Customers in all of Asda’s stores will continue to benefit from the Asda Price Guarantee (APG). The APG is powered by .co.uk, ensuring both its price integrity and independence. If Asda isn’t at least ten per cent cheaper than , Morrison’s, ’s and on a basket of comparable grocery products, Asda will refund the difference.

    In total Asda is investing more than £100m in capital converting the stores, helping create hundreds more jobs for its building and shop-fitting contractors. The first converted Netto stores – in Worksop, Wakefield and Stainforth – will open in May.

    – IndiaRetailing Bureau