Wal-Mart-owned Asda is to test market standalone stores for its George clothing brand, with the aim of giving consumers an opportunity to purchase the clothing and shoe range in a different shopping environment to that of a supermarket.
The pilot project will last 12 months and will be carried out at two sites which are due to open in September – one in Croydon and the other in Leeds. Asda does not have a store in Croydon, so the George outlet will be the first opportunity for its residents to sample the brand on their doorstep. The stores will sell the George range at the same prices as charged in Asda stores across the UK.
The stores will employ about 70 people at each site and will carry the George name over the door.
An Asda spokeswoman says: “They are the latest example of Asda’s commitment to develop flexible formats that offer the right ranges in the right locations.”
It is thought that the high street environment will lead to consumers making purchases that they might not have done otherwise in a supermarket environment and will introduce the brand to more consumers.
Last year the retailer launched a smaller format store aimed at the convenience market, partly in response to changes in consumers’ buying habits and planning restrictions imposed on the building of superstores.