US retail giant Wal-Mart has used an Asda store in Liverpool to hit back against its critics.

At a press event, Lee Scott, president and chief executive of Wal-Mart, said: “Let me take you to Breck Road in Liverpool. It used to be a shopping centre with about ten stores in it.”

“For several years it was anchored by a small supermarket, which closed and gave way to a bingo hall. Eventually that closed too and the area became a magnet for vandals, muggers and drug pushers.”

He added: “Our British unit Asda committed to revitalising this neighbourhood. We opened last November creating 300 jobs. This is what I say to critics - talk to the people who live along Breck Road and ask them if what Wal-Mart does is a publicity stunt.”