Asda ramps up home shopping service

Asda is to ramp up its home shopping service as part of a four pronged expansion plan to maintain the pressure on rival Tesco.

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Asda’s expansion will see 7,500 jobs created in 2011 – 3,000 of which are available today.

The bulk of the new dotcom jobs will come from its grocery home shopping service expansion.

“Our dotcom business is continuing to grow at around 30 per cent, so next year more of our stores will make deliveries to local customers, we’ll also employ more drivers and pickers at existing stores,” says a spokesman.

The new ’Argos style catalogue’ for non-food products will only be a small element of the new jobs given that it’s still at the trial phase.

Alongside the broadening of the home shopping service there will be new store openings, an expansion of existing ones and the conversion of some of the Netto stores it bought.

The Netto acquisition is set to add around one million square feet and create an Asda Supermarkets division of around 170 stores. The conversion programme, which will start in the first quarter of 2011, is expected to be completed by this time next year.

The news comes just hours before Walmart, Asda’s American parent company, releases its third quarter earnings later today.

Earlier this year Asda committed to create 15,000 retail apprenticeships, 10,000 seasonal jobs, and 15,000 work experience placements (for 14-16 year olds).

Asda expects to employ up to twice as many people in each of the stores it converts, creating 1,500 jobs. The additional roles are a reflection of the fact that shoppers in those stores will be able to complete a full weekly shop.

In 2011 the supermarket is also set to increase the number of fully qualified pharmacists it employs by around ten per cent, creating 32 new posts. Asda currently operates 205 in-store pharmacies nationwide, but next year plans to open a further 16.

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