Supermarket giant Asda is gearing up to open 25 new stores in 2012 with a £500 million investment.
The company will add over 600,000 sq ft of retail space, as well as three new depots and the refurbishment of 43 existing stores.
It plans to build across the range of supermarket formats, through superstores, small supermarkets and Asda Living.
The Prime Minister David Cameron said the expansion – which is set to create 5,000 new jobs – would provide a real boost for the economy.
“I also welcome Asda’s commitment to not only create jobs but invest in their staff too; offering employees the chance to join an apprenticeship scheme to gain skills which will benefit them throughout their career,” he said.
Asda is building a new depot in Rochdale and a replacement depot in Scotland.
It also plans to upgrade its Yorkshire depot which originally formed part of the Netto chain into a state-of-the-art ‘cross dock’ allowing products to be shipped in and out in minimal time.
Asda, which is owned by US retail giant Walmart, now operates 528 stores across the UK and is the second largest supermarket in the country.
In November, Asda’s head of construction model and specification James Brown announced the company was forming a forum with some of the biggest retailers in the UK to share best practice on building information modelling. Asda uses BIM on all the stores it builds.
Walmart International president and chief executive Doug McMillon said: “Our continued investment is because we see a tremendous opportunity in front of us - I’m proud of the difference you’re making and that we can make an even bigger difference in the lives of our customers and the communities we serve.”
Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said: “I am delighted to be able to start 2012 on such a positive note, doing what we do best - creating new jobs, working with new communities and bringing Asda’s low prices to families who need the value we can bring.
“I look forward to seeing these new stores and depots open for business and welcoming new colleagues and customers to our team.”
Stores currently scheduled for 2012 opening include:
Bootle, Orrell Lane,Merseyside
Coventry, Daventry Road, West Midlands
Gateshead (Asda Living), Tyne & Wear
Todmorden, West Yorkshire
Tunbridge Wells, Kent (opened Jan 12)
Worthing- Littlehampton Rd, West Sussex
Inverness Slackbuie, Highlands
Larkhall, South Lanarkshire