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    Asda to Open 10 Stores in 2003

    LEEDS, U.K. - Wal-Mart owned Asda on Tuesday announced plans to open 10 new stores in 2003. The expansion, including extensions, represents an investment of 360 million pounds ($574 million).

    LEEDS, U.K. - Wal-Mart owned Asda on Tuesday announced plans to open 10 new stores in 2003. The expansion, including extensions, represents an investment of 360 million pounds ($574 million) and will create a total of 3,900 new jobs.

    In addition, the retailer will convert two of its existing stores to supercentre status. Those stores will carry wide food and non-food ranges as well as Asda/Wal-Mart dual branding.

    "This year's store expansion program is great news for the areas where we are opening stores. Not only will we be providing new jobs and boosting local economies, but more people than ever before will be able to take advantage of our every day low prices," said Tony DeNunzio, president and COO at ASDA Wal-Mart.

    The new stores include: a 50,000-square-foot store in Castlepoint Bournemouth; a 45,000-square-foot store in Thurmaston ? Leicester; a 40,000-square-foot store in Basingstoke; a 39,000-square-foot store in Oldbury - West Midlands; a 50,000-square-foot store in Crawley - East Sussex; the re-development of a 48,000-square-foot former Tesco store in Sutton; a 50,000-square-foot store in Stevenage; and a 40,000-square-foot store in Harlow.

    The ninth and tenth stores will come from re-sites -- the replacement of older stores to new state-of the-art facilities. The final line up is still being negotiated.

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