Wal-Mart has designated Asda its international centre of marketing excellence. The UK retailer will act as a global marketing academy for Wal-Mart under the leadership of Rick Bendel.

Bendel, Asda’s chief marketing officer, was promoted last month to also be Wal-Mart’s international marketing supremo. He will share expertise with the US giant’s businesses in the 13 overseas countries – excluding the UK – in which it trades, including China, India, Japan, Mexico and Russia.

Bendel told Retail Week: “We’ll have a curriculum to help coach the merchants and marketeers from each country to create a new generation of retail marketeers. The view is to use global leverage to ensure best practice is benchmarked.”

He said: “Wal-Mart has recognised that the UK is the world centre of excellence. It’s enlightened that there can be a centre of excellence that’s not in the motherland.”

Bendel will spend 80 per cent of his time on Asda and the remainder on his international brief.