Asda looks for 1 million sq ft
Asda will invest£600 million this year in its biggest expansion programme to date, adding more than 1 million sq ft (92,900 sq m) of space.

The Wal-Mart-owned retailer, headed by Tony DeNunzio, will spend£200 million more this year on new space than it did last year, and will open at least 20 stores, creating more than 6,000 jobs.

Fifteen supermarkets - including the biggest-ever Supercentre, in Milton Keynes - are planned, as well as at least five non-food stores. Two of the five will be the retailer's second and third Asda Living general merchandise stores, in Altrincham and Barnsley, and one will be a George standalone in Swansea.

The other two shops will also be George outlets and are due to open in the first half of this year. Asda expects to open between five and eight George stores, at least, this year. The retailer is also to refurbish 20 of its existing 266 supermarkets and 15 will be extended.

Planet Retail analyst Bryan Roberts said: 'Asda lost a bit of ground to Tesco last year. They will want to reignite their performance in existing stores, and this expansion plan is much more vigorous than what they have done in the past couple of years.'

Although Asda's expansion programme is a record for the retailer, it is expected to be dwarfed by Tesco's schedule. Analysts expect Tesco to add at least another 1.5 million sq ft (139,350 sq m) this year in the UK alone.

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