Asda is planning to triple the number of Living general merchandise stores within a year and has promoted Angela Spindler to be global managing director of its £2 billion George fashion arm.

Asda chief executive Andy Bond told Retail Week: 'Asda Living will open a minimum of 10 stores next year.'

At present, there are five Living outlets, but Bond said he was 'very excited' by performance and prospects so far.

George forms a key component of the Living offer and Spindler's brief in the newly created role is to deliver growth at the rate of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent a year.

Bond said there was still a steep learning curve to climb to ensure that standalone George fashion shops were as successful as possible, but that the operational skills needed for running the Living outlets were closer in character to those of Asda's core stores.

On Saturday, Asda opens its biggest store to date in Milton Keynes. Some 19,000 sq ft (1,765 sq m) of the 110,000 sq ft (10,220 sq m) of selling space will be devoted to George. A lifestyle look for the George area will be tried out for the first time.

Spindler, formerly Asda's customer and strategy director, will also assume responsibility for George's international business and ensure its UK success is replicated globally.

Only about 40 per cent of Asda customers shop the George range. 'There's lots of growth to go for,' said Bond.

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