Asda has today (20 February) announced it is to create more than 9,000 jobs this year through new store openings, extensions and business expansion.

The move comes a day after Wal-Mart, Asda's parent, said the UK retailer had beaten its sales and earnings targets, with like-for-like sales excluding fuel rising in the "mid single digits".
 
Around 7,000 jobs will be created through the opening of between ten and 12 new superstores, ten Living stores and 12 extensions to existing outlets. In addition, a further 1,500 jobs will be created through the expansion of Home Shopping and Asda Direct.

The continued roll-out of Asda's pharmacy business will create 500 new jobs, through the opening of 50 in-store pharmacies, creating over 100 pharmacist positions and 400 new colleague jobs and take the number of Asda pharmacies from 147 to almost 200.

CFO Judith McKenna said: "This major investment demonstrates our on-going commitment to bringing low prices and fantastic service to even more people across the UK."
 
The new store programme, which begins with the opening of an Andover store in Hampshire next month, will add over 800,000 sq ft to the retailer's estate representing an investment of around GBP400m (US$778m).
  
Expansion plans for 2008 include, among others, new stores in Andover, Kent, Dalgety Bay in Scotland and Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan.