Asda has hit its target of becoming Britain’s biggest clothing retailer 18 months early, with George achieving market share of 10.1% by volume, according to TNS data.

The growth, which was driven largely by womenswear and school uniforms, would enable the retailer to continue to offer low prices, George managing director Anthony Thompson said.

“Our objective was to be number one by volume by 2011, so we’re 18 months early,” Thompson told The Times. “But customers don’t really care who’s number one, they care about us representing the best value,”

He said the recession meant customers were now looking for “clothes that last” ahead of simply the lowest price.

“The recession has changed an awful lot of things and I think the changes are permanent. Value for money is not about cheap clothing; it’s about quality, style and value coming together. The era of throwaway fashion is over.”

Primark, owned by Associated British Foods, was placed second for market share with 9.9%, followed by Marks & Spencer on 9.8%.