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    Asda ramping up presence in London

    File picture of Asda Express

    Supermarket chain Asda will this week launch the first handful in a raft of planned new London convenience store openings as the supermarket group is set to nearly treble its small sites presence in the capital before the end of March.

    The UK’s third largest grocer currently has just eight Asda Express branches in London, with the first opening at Tottenham Hale in December 2022.

    The latest investment will see sites in West Ealing, Willesden and Greenford start trading in the coming days. Twelve more will follow over the next few months including in areas such as Harringay and Romford.

    The Issa brothers (Mohsin and Zuber) and private equity company TDR Capital bought the chain in 2021, and the 15 shops on the way will be through a combination of converting petrol forecourts acquired from EG Group (which Asda’s owners are also behind) and the Co-op, as well as new standalone sites.

    Leeds-headquartered Asda has historically under-indexed in London, with only 11 % of its 650 total stores being inside the M25.

    Andy Perry, MD of convenience at Asda said. “We identified London as a focus area for our growth in convenience, not only due to the size of the population, but also because of the higher propensity of convenience store usage amongst Londoners. In a densely populated area, with relatively low car ownership, we know that shopping locally is often preferable.”

    Perry added: “Convenience is one of the fastest growing channels in the grocery market and developing our presence in this space is key to our long-term strategy to become the UK’s second largest supermarket retailer.”

    News of the store expansion comes just days after one of the billionaire Issa brothers was warned he risks being in contempt of Parliament after the Standard discovered he had submitted error-strewn evidence to MPs.

    Mohsin Issa, who runs and co-owns Asda, was told he must urgently address inaccuracies in a letter he submitted to the Business and Trade Committee, and was accused of failing to notify MPs of the errors.

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