Asda has pinned its hopes for sales growth on the acquisition of more smaller stores to add to its former Netto empire.

This week, CEO Andy Clarke revealed that the retailer, which currently has 100 smaller stores, planned to have 250 by 2015 and said the “time was right” for Asda to speed up the rollout of small supers.

“Shoppers want to choose where they shop,” he said. “We believe this is on course to be one of the most successful retail integrations for some time.”

However, he ruled out a bid for the entire Iceland business. “The estate does not fit our model,” he said. “We are going to focus on individual stores or parcels of stores that become ­available.”

The target was announced as Walmart revealed Asda’s sales had grown by 0.5% year-on-year in the second quarter a slight improvement on the first quarter, when sales rose by just 0.1%.

“Indicators suggest that 2011 will remain challenging for our UK consumers,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart International president & CEO. “We’re confident that Asda and its Netto store conversions are entering the second half of the year with good ­momentum.”