Supermarket giant Asda has unveiled plans to open at least 18 new supermarkets over the next 12 months.
The UK’s second largest grocer will also carry out major store expansions to 15 of its existing stores and roll out its ‘Asda Living’ non-food stores at a further 10 sites.
Asda Living, generally placed in out of town retail parks, is a one stop shop for electricals, furniture, its entire George clothing range, health and beauty products, mobile phones and homewares.
The first of the Living stores is set to open in Belfast this Friday, with a second due to open in Oldham in April. A further eight Living sites are due to be confirmed later in the year.
Around 4,000 of the new jobs will be created under Asda’s new store-building programme, with new supermarket stores already confirmed for Girvan in South Ayrshire, Ardrossan in North Ayrshire, Folkestone, Wishaw in North Lanarkshire, Tonypandy in Mid Glamorgan, Highbridge in Somerset, Seaham in County Durham and Walsall.
Last year, Asda opened 25 new stores, creating 7,000 new jobs, and now has 334 stores across the UK.
Commenting on 28 stores planned for this year, Asda’s chief financial officer Judith McKenna said: ‘This is a major investment which will enable Asda to provide even better service and great value products to more people across the UK than ever before’.
Included in the 18 new supermarkets, the group will also be launching its first energy-efficient store in Shaw, near Oldham.
The supermarket, designed to be 20 per cent more energy efficient than existing stores, will be built on the site of the old Shaw mill using bricks and timber recycled from the original building.
In its annual results Asda said it had seen regular shopper numbers rise by more than a million.
Over the year, the supermarket chain invested in improving a number of departments, including increasing the quality of its fresh foods and own- label products and tripling its organic range.
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