Asda to Open 300 Asda Express C-Stores

The U.K. expansion is in addition to the planned purchase of 132 Co-op sites.

December 06, 2022

LONDON—Asda today announced plans to open 300 convenience stores in the U.K. and create 10,000 new jobs by the end of 2026 as it looks to expand its Asda Express format as part of a long-term strategy to become the U.K.’s second-largest supermarket.

The company’s second Asda Express c-store opened today in Tottenham Hale, north London, in a residential development adjacent to a tube and overground transit station. New locations are planned next year in Wiltshire, Essex and Surrey, Asda shared.

The 300-store target doesn’t include Asda’s planned purchase of 132 Co-op stores with attached petrol stations, a deal valued at about 600 million pounds (US$729 million), which includes IFRS16 lease liabilities of roughly 162 million pounds.

“A key part of our growth strategy is to provide customers with more opportunities to shop at Asda closer to where they live or work,” said Mohsin Issa, Asda co-owner.

“With more than three-quarters of the U.K. population visiting a convenience store in the last 12 months, the potential for growth in this market is significant,” Issa said. “Our ambition is to become the convenience destination of choice by providing shoppers great value and a comprehensive and convenient range of products and services under one roof.”

Asda Express stores will stock about 3,000 products to serve customers’ needs for top-up shops for essential items such as milk and bread, grabbing a spot of lunch on the go, or buying the fresh ingredients to cook dinner from scratch, Asda said. Products from Asda’s premium Extra Special range and a broad selection of beers, wines and spirits also will be available.

Customers will also find a range of hot and cold food-for-now options from Asda and partner brands including Leon, plus food-for-later choices such as ready meals, pizzas, stir fry and a selection of £10 meal deals for two. Asda’s “toyou” parcel collection and return services and a rapid delivery service through Uber Eats also be available in some stores.

In 2020, Walmart agreed to sell its stake in U.K. grocer Asda to Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the brothers who founded EG Group, and private equity group TDR Capital. Walmart, which bought Asda in 1999, attempted to sell Asda to Sainsbury, U.K.’s second-largest supermarket chain, in 2018, but U.K. regulators blocked the deal, citing concerns about competition and higher prices for customers.

In 2020, EG Group said it was trialing its Asda On the Move convenience stores at EG Group fuel station forecourts in Ashby, Leamore and Primley in the Midlands. A year later, Asda announced more than 200 Asda On the Move convenience sites were coming to nearly 230 EG Group forecourts.

NACS Magazine featured EG Group and its European expansion plans in “On the Move” in the January 2021 issue.