Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
47.1 - Retail sale in non-specialised stores
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Supermarket chain Asda has said it plans to open 18 new stores in the UK, including an eco-friendly branch, and create 8,000 jobs in the coming year. Under the plans there will be 352 Asda stores by the end of 2007 in the country.
It said it would also expand 15 of its existing shops and create 10 of its out-of-town, Asda Living stores. Asda's parent company Wal-Mart had earlier said its UK business enjoyed a 'turnaround' during the past year.
The chain opened 25 new outlets and created 7,000 jobs in 2006, and now has 334 stores across the UK. One of the new supermarkets will be Asda's first 'energy-efficient' store, based in Shaw, near Oldham.
The retail giant said this would be 20% more energy efficient than its other branches, and would be built from bricks and timber recycled from a mill formerly located on the development site.
Asda Living stores are non-food outlets - stocking electrical goods, furniture, clothing and mobile phones - usually found on retail parks.
Although Wal-Mart does not release detailed figures for Asda, it said that profits at the UK business had 'increased slightly' in the year to 31 January.
It also said Asda had gained an extra one million regular shoppers. Wal-Mart made the comments as it reported a 9.8% increase in its global profits for the three-months to 31 January.