Wal-Mart-owned grocer Asda intends to test a “home shopping centre” designed to extend retail capacity in its busiest locations.

The initiative is one of several being planned by the retailer to extend its home shopping operations generally.

Grocery home shopping sales climbed 50 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, when Asda notched up underlying like-for-like growth of 8.4 per cent, excluding petrol, the timing of Easter and the effect of a leap day in 2008. The retailer said it beat its sales and profit targets.

Asda chief financial officer Judith McKenna said the home shopping centre, likely to be tried out at Morley, Leeds, would be laid out like a shop and close to the existing store. However, its purpose would be to allow staff to pick product for home delivery with the objective of doubling customer numbers locally.

Other improvements to Asda’s home shopping offer include enabling customers to order up to 10pm for next-day delivery, which will take place in June, and extension of geographical coverage.

McKenna said Asda was proud of its first quarter performance, when it outperformed the market for the 12th successive period.

She attributed success to Asda’s provision of value to consumers, better product quality and use of customer insight.

McKenna said: “We are winning even more customers and we’re gaining from all our competitors.”