George will be top global brand, says Bond

George managing director Andy Bond believes Asda's fashion business could be a top three global clothing brand within a decade.

George clothing made its debut in Wal-Mart stores in the US last year, and has since launched in Canada. Last week, it went on sale in South Korea and it will be offered to Mexican shoppers later this year. The label is also available in Wal-Mart's German stores. Bond believes there is massive scope for George to establish a presence in all Wal-Mart's 10 markets.

'The intent is there. Our job is to demonstrate that it can become global,' he said. 'The opportunity offered to us could make us one of the top three (clothing) brands globally within five to 10 years.'

Such growth would put George in the same league as brands such as Nike, Adidas and Levi Strauss, with sales of US$9.8 billion (£5.94 billion), EUR4.8 billion (£3.16 billion) and US$4.1 billion (£2.54 billion) respectively. George's annual sales for last year were approximately£1 billion.

Retail Knowledge Bank research director Robert Clark said: 'George is favoured by Wal-Mart and by going forward, it will increase its importance on a global scale.'

It is understood that George is to send a research team to Japanese retailer Seiyu, in which Wal-Mart has a stake, to explore opportunities there.