Supermarket Asda is to invest over £700 million in its stores and online operations this year, creating up to 2,500 new UK jobs, it has been announced today.
Part of the investment will see the chain launch a same-day delivery service on all grocery orders, as well as a Click & Collect offer for George clothing and general merchandise.
Click & Collect “is outperforming expectations”, according to a statement from the retailer, which revealed that this now accounts for four per cent of all online grocery orders, and its new ‘drive-thru’ offer in York combines food and non-food orders for collection.
Bricks & mortar expansion is also a top priority and the retailer will open 10 new stores over the remainder of the year, including four new small format stores, five superstores and a new non-food outlet, adding more than 340,000 sq ft of net selling space in 2013.
Asda today reported a total sales rise including petrol of 4.5 per cent to £22.8 billion in 2012 as its commitment to maintaining low prices on everyday essentials boosted growth.
Online sales have helped drive these results as Asda reported double-digit year-on-year growth and the supermarket is now the second biggest online grocer in the country.
Last month, Asda opened its third picking centre in Nottingham, creating over 600 new jobs as it works to increase its home shopping capacity.
President and CEO of Asda Andy Clarke said of the results: “I’m proud that in the continuing and very challenging trading environment we were able to increase total sales by 4.5 per cent last year.
“This shows that we are continuing to get it right for customers.
“By focusing on their needs through accelerating our investment in the technology and infrastructure to make shopping more convenient, customers can shop for what they want, when they want it.”