Asda is planning to create 9,000 new jobs this year through store openings.

Some 7,000 jobs will be created over the next 12 months through the opening of 10 to 12 new superstores, 10 Living stores and 12 store extensions, said Asda CEO Andy Bond. A further 1,500 jobs would be created through the expansion of Asda's home shopping and catalogue services.

But the rate of store openings could double if the Competition Commission's proposed 'competition test', which would judge competition at a local level, is adopted, Bond added.

“The only net beneficiary of the competition test will be Asda,” he said. “We will grow faster as a consequence.”