Asda is overhauling a west London supermarket to create a flagship ethnic store.

The new-look Hounslow store, which is opening this week, has been "recut" to meet the needs of the local Asian, Mediterranean, Polish and Afro-Caribbean populations that make up about 70% of its shoppers.

Asda has added 20 bays of ethnic food to create two dedicated aisles, accounting for 20% of trading space. Other changes include an easier-access bulk area on the back wall for rice, flour and oil and an increased range of ambient and chilled imported brands, as requested by shoppers.

The retailer has also given its fresh offer a facelift, introducing a new herb bay and more ethnic produce. More loose fruit and vegetables had been added as customers preferred them to pre-packaged, said Cathryn Ramsden, customer planner for Asda's emerging markets team.

A halal meat counter operated by local retailer Haji Baba was opened last month ahead of the revamp. "Haji Baba has been there for 30 years and we're happy to be working with a local business to give it its second shop, rather than being blamed for damaging small businesses," said Ramsden. "By the end of this year, we plan to have rolled out two further concessions from Haji Baba."

A new point-of-sale display has been designed, in the wake of feedback from 25 ethnic customer listening groups. "People from ethnic groups find it hard to find all their relevant products," said Ramsden. "The new PoS means we can direct them, highlighting world food with blue signage and using images to identify their nationality, as they may not be fluent in English."

Asda has also begun testing its first oriental range in two London stores, following a store manager's tip-off that the oriental population was growing. Although Chinese food is the second-largest segment of the ethnic category after Indian, Asda had previously overlooked it, admitted Ramsden. "We'd missed out on it until now. We didn't really see Chinese as we saw Indian."