Asda opens first 11 Co-op convenience store conversions

Asda has opened the first of its 116 planned convenience stores based at former Co-op sites.

The supermarket retailer bought 132 Co-op retail sites with attached petrol stations for £438 million last year.

The company has opened an initial 11 rebranded Asda Express sites, with the remaining 105 stores to be converted by the end of next year's first quarter.

The move forms part of Asda’s long-term strategy to become the UK’s second largest supermarket, a position currently held by Sainsbury’s, by moving into the fast-growing convenience market.

Asda’s buyout of the Co-op stores received regulatory approval from the Competition and Markets Authority in June after Asda agreed to divest 13 sites to satisfy competition requirements.

“The launch of our conversion programme is an incredibly exciting moment for our business and accelerates our presence in the fast-growing convenience market,” said Mohsin Issa, Asda co-owner. “We look forward to bringing Asda’s great value in fuel and groceries to many more communities across the UK and to welcoming over 2,000 former Co-op colleagues to the Asda family in the coming months."

At the end of last year, Asda said that it would create 10,000 new roles over a four-year period as part of its express store concept.

At the time, it said that it plans to open 300 convenience stores by the end of 2026.

In September, Asda announced that it was introducing a new commercial operating model to support its long-term growth plans, including the "significant" expansion of its convenience store format.

The new model is made up of eight integrated business units aligned to specific categories and led by a business unit director who has full responsibility for sales and profitability in their area.

Within each unit there will be dedicated teams responsible for buying, ranging and pricing. This replaces a current structure whereby these responsibilities are split across multiple functions.

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