UK retailer Asda plans to create 7,500 jobs in 2011 through a combination of new stores, expansion projects and Netto conversions.

The retailer said it has advertised around 3,000 vacancies on its website from today (16 November).

Andy Clarke, Asda CEO and president said: “I’m proud to say next year we will once again create thousands of new jobs at every level of our growing business. Through a combination of opening new stores, extending existing ones, converting Netto stores, and continuing to expand our grocery home shopping service we will create 7500 new roles throughout the country. We also currently have nearly 3000 vacancies on our jobs website.”

Asda announced it had struck a deal to buy the UK stores of discount chain Netto in May as part of the Wal-Mart arm’s bid to run smaller stores in the country.

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.

Asda said it 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, it said.

In 2011 the supermarket is also set to increase the number of fully qualified pharmacists it employs by around 10%, creating 32 new posts. Asda currently operates 205 in-store pharmacies nationwide, but next year plans to open a further 16.