Asda chief executive Andy Bond said this week that the Living format was showing exciting results, shortly after opening his fourth Living store.
Shore Capital retail analyst Clive Black said he believed Asda was now ready to roll the concept out, despite an Asda spokeswoman insisting it was still at the trial phase.
“Up until now, Asda Living has been very much a trial, but Asda will have six stores by early next year and we can expect another 10 or so by the end of 2006,” said Black.
“Andy Bond seems very pleased with the format and the language he is using suggests that it is moving out of trial and into rollout.” He added that Asda was ahead of Tesco as the supermarkets attempt to increase their share of the non-food market, but that Tesco had done its homework well.
“Asda deserves the credit for getting in there first,” said Black. “But Tesco has learned from that and its first Homeplus store had a much bigger impact than Asda’s first Living.”
The fourth Living is 26,000 sq ft and is at Byker in Newcastle. Tesco’s first Homeplus is 30,000 sq ft and is in Denton, Manchester.
Tesco played down plans for further stores as it said that it was awaiting results. However, chief executive Sir Terry Leahy has said “a small number” of further stores were definitely planned and Aberdeen, Bristol and Telford have been mooted as possible locations.
>>p39 Tesco Homeplus