Asda is trialling an Argos-style in-store ordering service in three stores in the north of England.

Andy Clarke, chief executive, told the Financial Times that the concept, called Asda Extra, as “an Argos-style offer”.

The trials could revive speculation that Asda is interested in Home Retail Group, which has suffered in the recession.

Clarke did not rule out an interest in buying the group.

Insiders suggest that there are about 200 stores that could include the Asda Extra concept, which involves ordering goods from an in-store display or an online catalogue that are then dispatched from warehouse space.

Clarke said: “[Some stores] can’t trade the full general merchandise offer and in some stores they have warehouse space that is not being used that we can turn over to this way of operating.”

Tesco already has this type of service in 140 shops.

Clarke also said Asda will continue to bang the drum on price. “We will push as hard on quality as we do on price, but price will still be the cornerstone of our proposition.”