Retail giant again bucks market trend by committing to retail expansion

Asda is to spend £600m on expanding and improving its stores in 2015, despite a market slowdown.

Chief executive Andy Clarke warned the retail market was “in one of its most challenging and changeable periods in history”, as the Walmart-owned business announced a 1% fall in sales for the year to 31 December and a 2.6% fall in the 12 weeks to 4 January.

But he said the retailer was “firmly focused on delivering its long term plan, including expanding and improving the Asda store estate”.

The £600m investment this year will include:

  • 17 new store openings, including three supermarkets in London;
  • 62 stores to undergo a major remodel to reflect changing shopper habits;
  • Over 150 new remote ‘click and collect’ sites; and
  • 36 new petrol stations.

“I’m pleased that we can announce our continued investment in the UK with £600m for new and improved stores in 2015,” said Clarke.

“With such a powerful force like Walmart behind us that fully supports our strategy, we’re in a unique position in a difficult market – a position of great strength.”