ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Asda is opening two new standalone convenience store locations in the U.K. Asda, which is the U.K.’s third largest supermarket chain and owned by EG Group, is opening the stores under the new “Asda Express” brand in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, and Tottenham Hale, north London.
The company plans to open the stores before Christmas and will launch another 30 Asda Express sites, creating a total of 500 new jobs. These first two location will create 37 new jobs.
“The launch of our first two Asda Express convenience stores is a landmark moment for our great business and a key step on our journey to bring Asda to more customers in more communities right across the U.K.,” said Mohsin Issa, Asda’s co-owner, in a statement.
With sales in convenience stores forecast to grow by 13% to over £50bn by 2027, cites Asda, the company says it has a significant opportunity to grow sales and market share in a sector where it currently has a limited presence.
Both Asda Express stores are purpose built and situated in residential areas. Each store will stock around 3,000 products, including a fresh, chilled groceries, as well as products from Asda’s premium private label line, Extra Special, and a selection of beers, wines and spirits.
The stores also will offer hot and cold “food-for-now” options from Asda and partner brands, plus “food-for-later” choices such as ready meals and a selection of £10 meal deals for two. Both stores also will offer “toyou” parcel collection and return services and shortly after opening will offer a rapid delivery service through Uber Eats.
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 in a deal that values the company at $8.8 billion. 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.
According to Asda, the new Asda Express stores are wholly owned and operated by Asda. They are separate from the Asda On the Move convenience sites, which are located on garage forecourts owned and operated by EG Group. They are also separate from the 132 convenience stores that Asda is acquiring from the Co-op Group. This transaction is expected to complete at the end of this month.
NACS Magazine featured EG Group and its European expansion plans in “On the Move” in the January 2021 issue.