Asda is pressing on with plans to add more local concessions to its stores on the back of strong sales.

Asda local marketing manager Paul Dover told The Grocer the concessions had been so successful they were now being handled by national category teams rather than its local sourcing department.

McGee’s was the first concession to open, taking over Asda’s butcher counter in Newtownards in August. It now has five concessions, with a further eight scheduled this year in Northern Ireland and talks under way for a Leeds pilot.

Asda had approached McGee’s, said regional manager Gareth Cromie. “The top guys from England were over and saw our food testing at our shop opposite Asda. They got the ‘wow’ factor and came in.”

McGee’s pays Asda a nominal rent and monthly sales commission, which increases after the first £20,000. Cromie said its presence in Asda was not affecting sales in McGee’s own stores as much as expected. “We’d scheduled a 15% decrease but it’s only been 2% to 3%. We got more customers, rather than robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Customers “love it”, added Dover. “Sales are flying, up 1,000% on what we used to do as an Asda counter.”

Butchers have tended to take over existing counters, but the three bakery concessions run by Rowe’s in Cornwall are new to the store. Rowe’s marketing director Paul Pearce said talks were ongoing about further openings.