Founded in 1949 Asda stores were originally Associated dairies and farm stores limited. Later, around 1965 the Asda name came about after the merger of Associated dairies and three supermarkets belonging to the Asquith chain. By 1989, Asda stores were mainly based in the North of England and in an effort to expand they bought the rival chain Gateway Superstores. This became a problem for the store giant as it had the issue of trying to sell too many products. The company was then revived by a man named Archie Norman who later became the CEO from 1996-1999. In July of 1999 after Archi Norman left the company it was bought by the super giant Wal-Mart. In 2009, Wal-Mart sold Asda to its Leeds based subsidiary Corinth Services Unlimited. In February 2011, the company announced the planned purchase of six Focus DIY stores which will soon be turned into super markets.
Asda focus is on store size and having a simple and convenient layout and shows this since their stores are about 20% larger than any of their rivals. Asda has three types of stores, the first is their super center and the UK has 25 of them. Slightly smaller than the super center, is the superstore and it offers some non food items along side food items and the UK contains 211 superstores. The smallest of the three is the supermarket and there are currently 26 of these food only markets. In October of 2003, the company presented “Asda Living”. This was a non food store that sold products such as clothing, electronics, health, and beauty products. Asda also promotes its own clothing line that goes by the name of George. This is a worldwide clothing line and is selling in not only the UK, but the United States, Germany, South Korea, Japan, and Canada as well. George is the fourth leading clothing retailer in the UK.
The company has an estimated 150,000 employees and has been called one of the top places to be employed by The Times newspaper. This British supermarket chain calls Leeds, West Yorkshire home, as this is the location of its head office. It focuses its promotions mainly on price using the slogan Britain’s lowest priced supermarket 14 years running.