Asda to invest 260m and create 3500 jobs in Scotland

Supermarket group Asda is today announcing investment in Scotland of 260m between 2009 and 2012 and the creation of more than 3500 jobs.

This 260m, which will be spent on new store openings and the upgrading of existing outlets, matches the amount invested by the group north of the border between 2003 and 2008.

Asda says it created more than 700 jobs in Scotland last year.

The retailer, which notes it has been "firmly established in Scotland since 1972", currently has 47 food stores, one "Living" store at the Glasgow Fort shopping centre, and two distribution centres. Next month, Asda will open a new store in Glenrothes in Fife.

This follows on from an opening at Leith in Edinburgh at the end of last year.

Andy Clarke, chief operating officer of Asda, highlights the benefits of its investment programme to the construction sector, which is being hit hard by the recession.

He says: "Our stores play an important part in revitalising local communities and providing accessible, low-cost shopping to our customers.

"We are pleased to be able to create employment opportunities in the retail sector during these difficult economic times as well as supporting hundreds of construction jobs across the country as part of our new store development programme.

Clarke says Asda's "dedicated Scottish retail development team" is "continually looking for new store development opportunities throughout Scotland".