Asda invests big in 2012

Asda, Walmart’s U.K. subsidiary, has big plans for 2012 that include investing more than £500m ($784 million) in its stores in 2012.

The company said it will invest the money in opening 25 new stores and three depots, as well as expanding and remodeling 43 of its existing stores. According to the company, this investment will create up to 5,000 new jobs in the United Kingdom. The company noted that current Asda associates would have the opportunity to enhance their careers through the company’s apprenticeship program.

According to Asda, the new stores will add more than 600,000 sq. ft. of net selling space to Asda, through superstores, small format supermarkets and Asda Living. The depots, will add additional capacity and efficiency to Asda’s logistics network, enabling it to meet planned organic growth, the company said. The depots will be located in Rochdale, Scotland and Yorkshire.

Commenting on Asda’s announcement, Prime Minister David Cameron said, “The additional investment and 5,000 new jobs announced by Asda today will be a real boost for the economy and more importantly for people around Britain seeking jobs. I also welcome Asda’s commitment to not only create jobs but invest in their staff too; offering employees the chance to join an apprenticeship scheme to gain skills which will benefit them throughout their career.”

Asda currently employs over 180,000 people in 528 stores and depots across the United Kingdom.