Asda: Supermarket's jobs pledge at new stores

Leeds-based supermarket giant Asda is set to create 430 jobs at its newly-acquired Netto stores.

The company has announced that it will run 43 former Netto stores in Yorkshire and Humber, subject to the approval of regulators who have made it sell 14 of its purchases in the region to grocery retailers Haldanes, Iceland and Morrisons. A Netto store in Keighley still awaits a buyer.

Asda says that the job vacancies at the stores it will run under the Asda Supermarkets banner will include up to 130 shift leader roles which will give staff a chance to move towards management.

The company, owned by US retail giant Walmart, says it expects to double the number of people employed in each of the converted stores.

The West Yorkshire Netto stores that will now bear the Asda name are in Batley, Beeston, Canterbury Avenue in Bradford, Greengates, Harehills, Huddersfield, Kirkstall Road, Meanwood, Normanton, Otley, Pontefract, South Elmsall, Thornbury, Wakefield, Wortley, Wyke in Bradford and York Road in Seacroft.

As reported in yesterday's YEP, the West Yorkshire Netto stores that will be sold to another retailer are at Castleford, Ravensthorpe and Tong Street in Bradford.

Following Asda's announcement in May that it intended to purchase Netto's stores in the UK, the Office of Fair Trading asked the retailer to agree purchasers for 47 stores across the UK before the regulator would move to the next stage of its process.

The jobs announcement brings closer Asda's pledge in November to create 7,500 jobs across the UK in 2011.

The addition of Netto stores to Asda's regional portfolio will give the retailer 70 stores in Yorkshire and Humber, where it was founded almost 50 years ago.

Asda already employs more than 2,700 people at its national head office in Leeds, and a further 6,100 in its network of regional stores.

Judith McKenna, Asda chief financial officer, said: "The good news for shoppers here in Yorkshire is that there will be no premium to shop in one of our smaller stores. We'll charge the same low prices you'll find in any of our stores."

She added: "Today is another key day in our plan to bring Asda to more customers in many more communities in Yorkshire and Humber.

"We're delighted that we're one step closer to welcoming hundreds of Netto colleagues here in our heartland of Yorkshire and Humber into Asda, and look forward to welcoming many more in 2011."

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