Asda has rolled out a new top stocking system its chief operating officer Judith McKenna said is saving significant costs.

McKenna told shareholders at a Walmart investors meeting in Canada this week that the grocer is making the most of its store space through the system which piles stock on the top shelf in store to make it easier to re-stock.

The tactic – employed within the DIY sector and at rivals Tesco – saves time for staff who are able to replenish shelves and money on man hours.

Top stocking has been used across ambient grocery, general merchandise and health and beauty categories in Asda.

An Asda spokesman told Retail Week top stocking was trialled at its Netto-conversions where space has been at a premium. It has now been rolled out to all of its store estate aside from its Asda Living format.

McKenna told investors: “It’s about getting products out of the warehouse and into store in a way that the customer does not notice it.

“It has driven wages out of costs, driven increased availability and driven better customer perception of colleagues in store [as they are more available].”

The Asda spokesman added: “As ever in retailer, the most challenging aspect is that last 100 yards [of the supply chain]. Anything that allows you to do a better job for customers in that respect is pleasing.”

On shelves where the tactic is employed, Asda has put up signs warning shoppers to ask for assistance in lifting down items from staff for safety reasons.