Asda to invest over £500m and create 5,000 jobs

Asda, the British arm of US retailer Wal-Mart Stores has said it it will invest over £500m this year, opening 25 new stores and three depots and creating up to 5,000 jobs.

Britain's second-biggest supermarket group behind Tesco also said it would extend and refurbish 43 existing stores.

The 25 new stores will add over 600,000 square feet of net selling space, through superstores, small format supermarkets and Asda Living outlets.

The three new depots will add capacity to the firm's logistics network so it can meet planned growth.

Asda currently trades from 528 UK stores and depots, employing over 180,000. The firm has not yet updated on Christmas trading.

Earlier this month Tesco sent shockwaves through the sector when it reported a disappointing Christmas performance and issued a profit warning.