Asda has announced that it will create 9,000 new jobs this year – many through store openings that will include 10 more Asda Living non-food outlets.
The job creation programme is the company’s biggest this decade and will be achieved not only through new store openings but also extensions and business expansion.
Seven thousand new jobs will result over the next 12 months from the opening of 10 Living stores, between 10 and 12 new superstores and 12 extensions to existing outlets.
Asda has confirmed the sites for four of the new Living stores: Bradford (32,000sq ft of sales space), Casnewydd (33,000sq ft), East Kilbride (22,000sq ft) and Stratford on Avon (31,000sq ft).
The total new store programme will add over 800,000 sq ft to the retailer’s estate, representing an investment of around £400m.
Additional jobs will be created through the expansion of Home Shopping to a further 40 stores, rolling out to over 95% of UK postcodes, and of Asda Direct, the retailer’s online catalogue business, which will see the opening of a new distribution centre.
The service, which gives customers access to over 700,000 non-food items, will grow significantly, taking the number of products to over 1m.
Asda estimates that by 2011 its online business will be generating over £1b of annual sales.