Asda will open its first food-only small store on Monday with a 17,000 sq ft outlet at Walthamstow, east London. The £4m store is the third in Asda's smaller store programme, key to the retailer's strategy given the difficulties of gaining planning permission for larger sites. The first, at Bodmin in Cornwall, was described in March by COO Richard Baker as only a "modest" success. He said the company had tried to make it too much like a shrunken version of a superstore with too wide a range. The second, a 30,000 sq ft store in Cramlington, saw the non-food offer cut back. Walthamstow features a number of new concepts, including a food-to-go offer with hot pizza and hot potato counters, but it has no George or general merchandise. The store has the largest ever ratio of sales space to warehouse space to provide shoppers with as much space as possible. Asda has also implemented its strategy of making better use of sales space. "We are sweating space hard," said business unit director Peter Pritchard. Walthamstow is the first of eight Asda stores planned for the capital this year, ranging from new stores to refurbs and extensions. {{NEWS }}