(Bloomberg) -- Asda is accelerating its push into convenience stores as the UK’s third-largest supermarket operator seeks to expand its market share.
Asda will open 300 stores by the end of 2026 under the Asda Express banner. The Leeds-based company is seeking to create 10,000 new jobs. Currently there are only two Asda Express stores, one in the West Midlands and another in London.
It has been a goal of Asda for some time to grow in convenience stores as rivals Tesco Plc and J Sainsbury Plc already have large established networks. This latest push is on top of Asda’s recent purchase of more than 100 gas stations and convenience sites from The Co-operative Group for about £600 million ($731 million).
Brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa acquired a majority stake in Asda with buyout firm TDR Capital last year in a £6.8 billion transaction.
“A key part of our growth strategy is to provide customers with more opportunities to shop at Asda closer to where they live or work,” said Mohsin Issa.
EG Group, which runs gas stations and convenience stores and is also owned by the Issa brothers and TDR, lost out in a bid for McColl’s convenience stores earlier in the year to Morrisons. Since then, Morrisons has said it will close more than 100 money-losing McColl’s stores.
Asda is seeking to overtake Sainsbury as the UK’s second-largest grocer. It has 14% market share, compared with 15.2% for Sainsbury, according to Kantar data.
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