4,300 new jobs at supermarket giant

Last updated at 13:35 28 May 2004

Supermarket chain Asda is to invest £400m in new stores and create 4,300 jobs in the UK by the end of this year.

The group, which is part of US retailing giant Wal-Mart, said it was investing £400 million in new stores and relocations or extensions of existing branches.

The expansion and modernisation programme includes plans for the group's first purpose-built two-level superstore in the UK, at Huyton on Merseyside.

The retailer is also planning to upgrade stores at Manchester's Trafford Park, Cardiff and Tamworth in Staffordshire, among others.

President and chief executive of Asda Wal-Mart, Tony DeNunzio, said Asda was continuing to focus on town centre and mixed use schemes with a variety of store sizes and designs.

Asda said in February that more than 100,000 staff would pocket a share of annual bonuses worth £15 million, with workers receiving up to £300 each as part of the retailer's benefits scheme.

Since joining Wal-Mart five years ago, the supermarket chain has paid £34 million in bonuses to staff, increased its workforce by 45,000 to 130,000 and opened 12 Asda Wal-Mart supercentres.

The news emerged as parent company Wal-Mart prepared to announce its first quarter results later today.

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