In a bid to put pressure on the Extra stores of market leader Tesco, UK supermarket chain Asda has revealed plans to up the pace of opening of its dual-branded Supercentres with US parent company Wal-Mart.

Tony DeNunzio, Asda COO, revealed that when the first Asda/Wal-Mart Supercentre opened at Bristol in the summer of 2000, the company aimed to have opened a ten-strong chain within three years. Now however Asda plans to open 20 Supercentres before the end of 2004.

By the end of this year, six Supercentres, covered 9,290m² and containing a 60:40 food and non-food split, will already be open.

Another sector giant Safeway has planned to open its first hypermarket on 28 November.