Food giant Asda aims to create 12,000 jobs over the next five years the boss of parent Walmart has told British Prime Minister David Cameron.

McMillon, who is in the UK for the first Walmart board meeting to be held in this country since its acquisition of Asda in 1999, said it has invested £8bn in Britain and created 100,000 jobs.

McMillon unveiled the jobs target, which will be in areas where Asda does not have sufficient store representation, after hosting a visit by the Prime Minister to Asda’s stores in Clapham, London.

McMillon said: “It has been a pleasure to meet with the Prime Minister today and reaffirm Walmart’s commitment to investing in the UK.

“We know that the UK is a great place to do business and since Walmart acquired Asda 15 years ago we have been able to invest £8bn in the UK economy – creating over 100,000 jobs, opening 342 new Asda stores and bringing lower prices to millions of customers.

“A seismic shift in the structure of the retail market is underway – not just in the UK – but right across the world. Asda recognised the change in its market and took early action to develop and implement a strategy that will see it grow – creating more new jobs and bringing real value to more customers in the UK.”

David Cameron said: “Supporting business, creating jobs and cutting taxes are all part of our long-term economic plan. I am delighted that Asda is continuing to invest heavily in the UK, creating another 12,000 jobs that will give people financial security for the future.”

Asda’s initiative came on the same day as food etailer Ocado said it is creating 1,000 jobs in its “biggest ever recruitment drive”.

Ocado is seeking peple for roles across the business ranging from its customer fulfilment centre in Dordon, Warkwickshire, to the in-house technology division at its head office in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

Ocado HR director Julie Markey said: “In just a few short years Ocado has grown from a tiny start-up to a company worth over £2.5 billion and we’re delighted to announce the creation of 1,000 new jobs as we continue to develop our business here in the UK and abroad.”