Regional Operations Manager: Kieran Shanahan
Turnover: £500m (est)
Pre-tax profit: n/a
The supermarket chain last year celebrated five years of trading in Northern Ireland. Since arriving here in 2005, Asda has opened 16 stores, doubled its workforce to more than 4,500 and reinvested £500k in local communities and charities.
Owned by US retail conglomerate Walmart, Asda began a steady stream of investment here back in 2009. It began with a £1.4m remodel of its Omagh store in March of that year, followed by a £1.7m refurbishment of the Dundonald supermarket in October.
A £4.7m investment was pumped into the Strabane site for an extension.
2010 brought a £2m re-model of its Downpatrick store in January, followed by a £4m expansion of the Enniskillen store, adding 12,000 sq ft.
Its first ‘new location’ store opened in Antrim in May alongside the thriving Junction One outlet centre. An investment of £35m, the new Antrim outlet created 450 new jobs in the area. 100,000 customers passed through the checkouts during its first five days.
A new store in Larne quickly followed — a 24,000 sq ft development bringing 200 jobs.
Asda say that local sourcing reached new heights in 2010, with the focus on maintaining supplier relationships.
Their new chief executive Andy Clarke gave a keynote speech at October’s Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association dinner and spoke of innovation within the sector.
He revealed the company had invested £230m in the local agri-food sector since 2005, with £1 in every £5 of food sold in its NI stores being supplied by companies based in the north and south of Ireland.
Its efforts began with the establishment of a successful partnership between Asda and Dungannon-based butchery business McGee’s in 2009. McGee’s has now opened concessions in nine stores — Strabane, Larne, Coleraine, Downpatrick, Enniskillen, Dundonald and the Shore Road and Westwood stores in Belfast.
Asda believes 2011 will be a significant year in Northern Ireland. It intends to invest a further £100m and create 3,000 new jobs in Northern Ireland over the next five years and continue to look for opportunities to improve its offering in the province.
Junction One Retail Park,
Tel: 028 9448 5766