The retail giant proclaimed the impending introduction of George as a great coup for Northern Irish consumers when it bought the 12 former Safeway stores from Morrisons in June.
But stores in Ballyclare, Kilkeel and Strabane do not have enough floor space to accommodate the range. However, all stores will offer Asda’s Home & Leisure goods.
Asda began work on its conversion programme this week and stores will be closed on a staggered basis in order to undergo a four to six-week refit. The first three to be converted are in Bangor, Coleraine and Cookstown, all of which closed on September 1 and will reopen in the middle of next month.
Asda will shut down the remaining stores for conversion during September and October, with the aim of having all 12 up and running by early December.
The retailer has also begun a recruitment drive in order to increase the Northern Ireland workforce by 250 before Christmas. It is retaining the existing 2,000 Safeway staff.