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Asda aims for number one spot in non-food retailing

Published: 18 February 2010
Walmart-owned supermarket chain plans to accelerate the expansion of its Asda Living format, as well as opening 100 smaller format stores.
Asda aims for number one spot in non-food retailing
Asda could open as many as 150 non-food stores as it steps up the roll-out of its Living format. Financial services company JP Morgan said in a note on Tuesday that the supermarket chain had set out its plans, which also included the opening of 100 smaller-format stores in the next three to five years, at a supplier conference last week.

JP Morgan said that Asda believes 75% of its growth will come from smaller-format stores, non-food products and online.

It stated: "Asda said that in the next five years, it wants to be the clear number two in food and the number one in non-food, which means it would have to double sales in non-food in the next five years - a lofty goal we believe."

In response to JP Morgan's comment, Asda ceo Andy Bond told DIY Week today: "We're ambitious in our growth and we see a lot of opportunities around superstores and supermarkets, Asda Living and asda.com. We always aim high." However, he refused to comment on JP Morgan's speculation over the number of new opening.

A full year update for the company, issued by Mr Bond today explained that Asda will be opening a "new chapter", as part of its strategy to "broaden and accelerate" the business.

Mr Bond said: "Through a combination of new formats - both smaller supermarkets to meet the needs of local communities, and through Asda Living, we will broaden our business reaching more customers in markets that are currently underserved by Asda."

He added: "Asda Living continues to exceed our expectations. In its own right our Living format is now a bigger non-food business than a number of high profile brands. We are well placed to accelerate when the environment for out of town retail improves."

The first Asda Living store opened in Walsall in the West Midlands in 2004. The stores offer a variety of non-food items, including clothing, health and beauty products, electrical goods, furniture, homewares and leisure goods. Based in retail parks, Asda describes the new-format shops as "small department stores".

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