Asda is opening its first stores outside petrol stations as its new owners look for ways to expand the UK’s third-largest supermarket chain and overtake Sainsbury’s.

Two Asda Express stores – in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, and Tottenham Hale, north London – will open before Christmas with 30 sites planned for next year.

Asda said it hopes to capitalize on an expected 13% increase in the convenience store market to £50bn by 2027 in a bid to overtake Sainsbury’s to become Britain’s second-biggest grocer.

According to analysts Kantar, Sainsbury’s has been in second place since 2019, but is less than 1% ahead of its smaller rival in terms of market share.

Two that were blocked until merged by the British competition watchdog three years ago, have long battled for second place.

The move to walk-in stores in residential areas comes after Asda’s new owners, EG Group, said they planned open 200 Asda On the Move convenient locations at its gas stations. Asda is also acquiring 132 walk-in stores from the Co-op.

Asda has historically focused on big box stores. In 2010, he raided small supermarkets bought the British Netto chain, which employs 200 people for more than £750 million, but these outlets were much larger than the planned Asda Express stores.

Asda is a late entrant into a highly competitive arena where Tesco’s Express and One Stop, Sainsbury’s Local, Little Waitrose and the Co-op all compete for orders with the likes of McColl’s and thousands of independents, many trading under brands such as Londis. , Spar and Budgens.

Morrisons, Art The UK’s fifth largest supermarket after Aldiexpands into the market, supplying independents under the Morrisons Daily banner, after an failed attempt will launch its own M Local store chain in 2015. Meanwhile, Amazon tested a few Fresh stores without checkoutwhere shoppers can pay through a phone app.

Fast food delivery services such as Gorillas, Getir and GoPuff were also touted as significant store rivals, but some have closed, dismissed workers or sold out to a competitor as investors refuse to continue funding large losses.

Venture capital investment in fast food businesses has more than halved this year, from $7.6 billion worldwide to $3.6 billion, according to financial research firm Pitchbook.

Shoppers have turned to smaller local shops during the Covid pandemic, creating a convenience boom, but retail outlets have come under pressure as households look for bargains at hypermarkets and discounters.

Mohsin Isa, one of the billionaire brothers who bought from Asda with private equity group TDR Capital two years ago, said: “The opening of our first two Asda Express stores is a landmark moment for our large business and a key step in our journey to bring Asda to more customers in more communities. Great Britain.

“The stores have been designed to meet a wide range of customer needs – whether it’s popping in for a pint of milk, grabbing a lunch spot on the go or buying fresh ingredients to cook dinner from scratch. We are confident that customers will find everything they need in these stores and will enjoy the convenience of having a new type of Asda store on their doorstep.”

Asda said its Express stores, which will be around 3,000 sq ft, will stock around 3,000 products, including hot and cold takeaways from its own brands, including Leon. The stores will also offer fast delivery through Uber Eats.

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