Founded: in 1965 by a merger between Associate Dairies and Queen’s Supermarkets

Based: Leeds

Number of staff: 165,000, which will increase by 7,000 as new store positions are created

Number of stores: 358 nationwide, including 30 Super-centres and 21 Asda Living stores

Employee benefits: After 12 weeks of continuous employment, staff receive a 10 per cent discount card. They can also receive instant recognition cards, which give them various rewards. Those who have been with the company for six months or longer can also join the Wal-Mart shares plan.

The inside view from people director Caroline Massingham

What makes the ideal Asda employee?
“We hire for attitude and train for skill – that’s why we’ve got some of the friendliest colleagues in the industry. We’re always on the lookout for people who share these qualities.”

What is the Asda work ethos?
“It’s about working together, being quick to react to an ever-changing world and striving to inspire everyone around them to achieve the impossible.”

As a workplace, what sets you apart from your competitors?
Our culture is unique in so many ways. We all wear a name badge, we all have daily huddles to keep up to date and sometimes we even all join together for the Asda chant.”

How do you ensure your employees have a good work/life balance?
“We try to be as flexible as possible. For example, if you have a child under six – or under 18 with a disability – you can change your working hours to suit the needs of your family.”