Asda is upping its convenience presence as it begins converting the Co-op petrol forecourt sites it acquired last year to Asda Express.
The supermarket giant launched the first 11 sites last week, including in Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Lancashire, Somerset, London, Scotland, and Devon, with the remaining 105 sites due to be converted by March.
It also bought three development sites from Co-op, which are also expected to rebrand to Asda Express.
The conversion programme comes after Asda acquired a total of 132 sites from the convenience retailer last year in a £438m deal.
It formed part of its long-term strategy to become the UK’s second-largest supermarket by penetrating the convenience channel. It divested 13 sites to satisfy competition requirements.
The converted stores will add to Asda’s existing standalone Express estate, following the convenience brand’s launch last year, with three currently operating in Sutton Coldfield, Tottenham Hale and Calne. Asda also confirmed its acquisition of EG Group’s UK convenience estate is on track to complete by the end of the year.
As Asda expands its convenience business, it hired Andy Perry as vice president of convenience last month. He ran the acquired Co-op sites while the acquisition received regulatory approval from the CMA.
“The launch of our conversion programme is an incredibly exciting moment for our business and accelerates our presence in the fast-growing convenience market,” said Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa.
“We look forward to bringing Asda’s great value in fuel and groceries to many more communities across the UK and to welcoming over 2,000 former Co-op colleagues to the Asda family in the coming months.”