OFT completes next step of Asda's Netto acquisition
- OFT announces next major milestone in Asdaâ€™s purchase of Nettoâ€™s UK stores, following exchange of contracts for stores to be sold to other food retailers
- Subject to final OFT approval, 147 Netto stores in the UK will be will be converted to Asda Supermarkets by late Autumn 2011
- All newly converted Netto stores will charge same low price as every other Asda in UK
- Fresh food range will double in size
- Number of products will rise from an average 1,800 up to 10,000 , enabling customers to complete a full weekly shop
- Customers will benefit from full breadth of Asdaâ€™s own label food ranges, including Smart Price, Chosen By You, Extra Special, Good For You, Free From and Organics
- Customers will also be able to order from the full range of home and leisure, and George clothing products available at supercentre stores online at www.asda.com, and collect them in their local store
Asda announced today (12 January, 2011) that it had reached another major milestone in its purchase of Nettoâ€™s UK stores, having met the OFTâ€™s requirement to agree purchasers for a number of Netto stores across the UK.
Subject to final regulatory approval, Asda will operate 147 Netto stores in the UK, adding 1.2 million square feet of space to its portfolio.
The stores will trade under the Asda Supermarkets banner and will average 8,000sq ft in size. The retailer has said that customers will be able to complete a full weekly shop in each store. Asda intends to make sure prices in these smaller stores are identical to those Asda shoppers benefit from elsewhere.
Judith McKenna, Asda chief financial officer, who led the deal said: â€œToday is another key day in our plan to bring Asda to more customers in many more communities across the UK. Weâ€™re delighted that weâ€™re one step closer to completing our acquisition of the Netto stores, which will allow us to provide even more space, choice and savings to our millions of customers in the UK.â€
Following Asdaâ€™s initial announcement in May that it intended to purchase Nettoâ€™s stores in the UK, the OFT asked the retailer to agree purchasers for 47 stores across the UK, including a number of stores it had to identify a buyer for, (â€˜buyer upfrontâ€™) before the OFT would move to the next stage of its process.
Asda has now agreed a purchaser for all those â€˜buyer upfrontâ€™ stores, and as a result, 39 Netto stores in the UK will be sold to grocery retailers Haldanes, Iceland and Morrisons, who will continue to run them as food stores. All of the colleagues in those stores have been briefed about the change.
Only eight stores remain unsold at this stage, however Asda has confirmed it will be selling these in the coming months.
Todayâ€™s announcement is also a key milestone in Asdaâ€™s plan to create 7,500 new jobs across the UK in 2011 as the retailer plans to significantly increase the number of colleagues employed at each of their Netto stores, creating up to 1,500 jobs. Up to 500 of these jobs will be for shift leaders, which will give individuals the opportunity to take their first steps towards management roles.