Leeds-based supermarket giant Asda announced it will open 110 Asda Express convenience stores in February – a record for a single month – to accelerate its growth strategy in convenience and put it firmly on track to reach 1,000 UK stores in total for the first time.
Asda said it will convert 109 former convenience stores acquired from the Co-op and EG Group to Asda Express this month — with one additional organic opening — as part of a multi-million pound investment and its commitment to become the second largest grocery retailer in the UK.
“Asda continues to deliver on its programme to convert all 470 convenience sites acquired from the Co-op and EG Group to Asda Express before the end of March,” said the Leeds firm.
“The supermarket had converted 259 sites by the end of January, in addition to the eight organic Asda Express sites already open.
“The record number of openings in February will also bring Asda’s combined supermarket and convenience estate to its biggest in its 58-year history as the business hits the landmark of 1,000 UK stores.
“Asda’s ongoing expansion into the fast-growing £40bn convenience and £60bn food to go has been a key pillar of the retailer’s strategy since the acquisition by the Issa brothers and TDR Capital completed in 2021.”
Blackburn-based billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa and private equity firm TDR Capital completed the £6.8 billion acquisition of a majority ownership stake in Asda from Walmart Inc. in 2021. Walmart retains an equity investment in Asda, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board.
The new stores opening in February are located across the UK from the Isle of Skye to Plymouth in Devon and Ipswich in Suffolk. Many stores are opening in locations across southern England – an area where Asda has traditionally been underrepresented.
Andy Perry, Asda’s Vice President of Convenience, said: “Asda’s significant investment in building a nationwide chain of convenience stores is a key component of our long-term strategy to become the number two player in UK grocery.
“February is a transformational month for programme with a record number of store openings and conversion of all former Co-op sites to Asda Express sites.
“The teams have worked at pace to reach this point and we look forward to bringing Asda’s quality and low prices to many more communities across the UK.”