Asda has announced it will invest over £500m in the creation of 25 new stores and three depots.
Asda's investment plans were unveiled during a UK visit by Doug McMillon, the president and CEO of Asda’s US owner Walmart International, who said the depots will add additional capacity and efficiency to Asda's logistics network, enabling it to meet planned organic growth.
A new depot in Rochdale will service chilled and frozen products to stores along the M62 corridor. The retailer will increase its capacity for delivery of groceries to stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland through a replacement depot in Scotland, while a depot in Yorkshire that originally formed part of the Netto chain will be upgraded to a state-of-the-art ‘cross dock’, allowing products to be shipped in and out in minimal time.
Over the past five years, Asda’s distribution team has delivered almost 25% more products, despite driving 19m fewer miles. It is hoped these three new depots will take an additional one million miles off the road.
Sharing the news with staff at its main centre in Leeds, McMillon said: “Our continued investment is because we see a tremendous opportunity in front of us – I’m proud of the difference you’re making and that we can make an even bigger difference in the lives of our customers and the communities we serve”.
Andy Clarke, president and CEO of Asda, said: “I am delighted to be able to start 2012 on such a positive note, doing what we do best – creating new jobs, working with new communities and bringing Asda’s low prices to families who need the value we can bring.
“I look forward to seeing these new stores and depots open for business and welcoming new colleagues and customers to our team.”
Prime minister David Cameron has also welcomed the announcement, saying: “The additional investment and 5,000 new jobs announced by Asda today will be a real boost for the economy and more importantly for people around Britain seeking jobs.
“I welcome Asda’s commitment to not only create jobs but invest in their staff too; offering employees the chance to join an apprenticeship scheme to gain skills which will benefit them throughout their career.”