SUPERMARKET giant Asda has confirmed it is set to open three new stores in Runcorn and Widnes.

The national chain will be opening an Asda Express convenience store at the Shell garage on Lunts Heath Road in Widnes.

This will replace the existing Spar shop at the petrol station, and it comes as Asda has announced it is opening 110 express stores in February – a record for a single month.

It will also be taking over the Spar stores at garages at Bridge Retail Park and Hallwood Link Road South in Runcorn.

The retailer will convert 109 former convenience stores acquired from the Co-op and EG Group to Asda Express this month and open one new standalone Express store in Birmingham.

The Widnes store is aiming to be open by February 6, with opening days for the Runcorn shops set for February 14.

Asda Express stores stock up to 3,000 branded and own-label products to suit a broad range of customer needs, including ‘top-up’ shops for essential items such as milk and bread, grabbing dinner on the go or cooking tea from scratch.

Asda says customers shopping for groceries at Asda Express can expect to save an average of eight per cent compared to the former Co-op stores and 15 per cent in comparison to the former EG Group convenience sites. 

Asda is continuing its programme to convert all 470 convenience sites acquired from the Co-op and EG Group to Asda Express before the end of March.

The supermarket had converted 259 sites by the end of January, in addition to the eight standalone Asda Express sites already open.

The record number of openings in February will also bring Asda’s combined supermarket and convenience estate to its biggest in its 58-year history as the business hits the landmark of 1,000 UK stores.

Andy Perry, Asda’s vice president of convenience, said: “Asda’s significant investment in building a nationwide chain of convenience stores is a key component of our long-term strategy to become the number two player in UK grocery.

“February is a transformational month for the programme, with a record number of store openings and conversion of all former Co-op sites to Asda Express sites.

“The teams have worked at pace to reach this point, and we look forward to bringing Asda’s quality and low prices to many more communities across the UK.”