Move is part of long-term plan for Asda to become the UK’s second-largest grocery retailer

Asda has opened 81 new Express stores in December, the most it has ever completed in a month.

The conversions of its recent acquisition of Co-op and EG UK sites, alongside the opening of eight standalone Asda Express stores, brings the total number of Asda Express sites to 229 nationwide. The rest of the 254 sites are due to convert by the end of March 2024.

The accelerated conversion process sets Asda on track to have 1,000 stores across the UK and Northern Ireland by March 2024, the retailer said, giving it its biggest estate in its 58-year history.

The latest openings include Asda’s first convenience store in Manchester city centre and three new London stores in Romford, Acton and Ealing. Asda plans to open a further 11 Express stores in the capital next year, as it looks to grow it footprint in an area where it has traditionally been underrepresented.

The new Asda Express stores stock up to 3,000 branded and own-label products to suit a broad range of customer needs including ‘top up’ shops for essential items, grabbing lunch on the go or cooking dinner from scratch.

Andy Perry, MD of convenience at Asda, said: “It has been a Herculean effort by the teams involved in our Asda Express roll out to convert 81 stores in one month as part of our commitment to bringing Asda’s great value offer to even more communities.

”Expansion into the growing convenience market is a key pillar of our long-term strategy to become the UK’s second-largest supermarket retailer - and we know how important Asda’s great value is to families managing cost-of-living pressures, especially in the run up to Christmas.

”As we head into 2024 it is incredibly exciting to see the continued rollout of Asda Express stores into more communities, meaning customers will be able to access Asda’s amazing value and quality in more locations than ever in its proud history.”