Anne Bruce
Asda has pinpointed 300 suitable locations for smaller stores down to 15,000 sq ft to give untapped areas of the UK "access to Asda price."
A spokesman said Asda was working "behind the scenes" on the project as it took a "flexible approach" to planning restrictions which prevented it building superstores in small towns. The formats and ranges would be tailored to the needs of the local community on a site-by-site basis, and would include as much of the range as space dictated, including non-food. The Asda Price EDLP guarantee would be the only constant across the estate, he added.
He said: "We came up with 300 potential sites. We feel some towns could take a 30,000 sq ft store, but size will vary from location to location. We will create stores appropriate to the location."
A standard Asda store is around 45,000 sq ft, but it has 34 stores under 30,000 sq ft, and trial small format stores in Bodmin, Cramlington and Walthamstow, London.
A spokesman said the expansion was not in response Tesco's planned roll out of a high street Express format.
"We would like to expand this portfolio and make it work on a larger scale. We will roll out at a pace our customers dictate, not our competitors.
"There are whole areas of the country where people haven't thought about shopping at Asda."
He added that Asda's bid for Safeway was separate from the expansion plans.

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