Asda has announced that it will invest over £500m in its UK stores and depots in 2012, helping create up to 5,000 new jobs across the country.
The supermarket confirmed plans to open 25 new stores across and three depots in 2012 – as well as extend and refurbish 43 of its existing stores.
Prime minister David Cameron has welcomed the announcement. He said: “The additional investment and 5,000 new jobs announced by Asda will be a real boost for the economy and more importantly for people around Britain seeking jobs.
“I also 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.”
Asda’s new stores will add over 600,000 sq ft of net selling space to Asda, through superstores, small format supermarkets and Asda Living – all offering the same consistent low Asda prices, regardless of where customers choose to shop.
The depots, will add additional capacity and efficiency to Asda’s logistics network, enabling it to meet planned organic growth. The new depot in Rochdale will service chilled and frozen products to stores along the M62 corridor. The replacement depot in Scotland increases capacity for delivery of groceries to stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The investment in Yorkshire will upgrade a depot that originally formed part of the Netto chain into 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 have delivered almost 25% more products, despite driving 19m fewer miles – these three new depots take an additional one million miles off the road.
Asda expects its investment plans for 2012 to create around 5,000 new jobs for local people, with eligible colleagues given having the opportunity to undertake a City and Guilds apprenticeship.
The new recruits will join the 30,000-plus colleagues who joined the Asda team in 2011 through new jobs and recruitment into existing vacancies. These include over 14,000 young people and over 8,500 recruited through Job Centre Plus.