Asda set to create 7,500 jobs through expansion plans

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The Independent Online

Supermarket giant Asda today announced plans to create more than 7,500 jobs in the UK next year.

The UK's second biggest supermarket chain said it would create all 7,500 jobs through new store openings, expansion of its home shopping service and its recent takeover of Danish supermarket Netto in the UK.

More than 3,500 will be created in new stores, 2,400 at the home shopping service, 100 jobs in new pharmacies and 1,500 through doubling staff at the Netto stores.

Andy Clarke, Asda chief executive and president, said: "I'm proud to say next year we will once again create thousands of new jobs at every level of our growing business.

"At Asda we always recruit for attitude and train for skill, so you needn't have previous retail experience to apply. We're simply looking for people who share our passion for customer service."

The announcement comes as Walmart, Asda's American parent company, publishes its third-quarter earnings.

The Netto acquisition will add around one million square feet and create an Asda Supermarkets division of around 170 stores.

The conversion programme, which will start in the first quarter of 2011, is expected to be completed by this time next year. Asda expects to employ up to twice as many people in each of the stores it converts.

The supermarket is also set to increase the number of fully-qualified pharmacists it employs by around 10%, creating 32 new jobs. Asda currently operates 205 in-store pharmacies nationwide, but next year plans to open a further 16.

Asda employs 175,000 staff and operates in 383 stores across Britain. It estimates it has 18 million customers a week.

The supermarket is working on a five-year strategy to secure its position as the number two in food and leader in non-food sales, with plans to accelerate openings of smaller stores and launch more Living general merchandise outlets.

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