ASDA ANNOUNCES NEXT PHASE OF SPECIALITY ROLL-OUT ASDA becomes New Department Store of 21st Century As Jewellery, photo and optical departments expand ASDA today confirmed the locations of the new jewellery, photo and optical departments it plans to open before the end of the year. With 80 pharmacies, 41 photo centres, 41 opticians and 35 jewellery departments already open, ASDA will have over 300 'speciality' units by the end of the year, including: · new supermarket jewellery departments in another 67 locations from Falkirk to Farnborough bringing the total to over 100; · an additional 30 opticians across the UK from Wakefield to Wolstanton, bringing the total to over 70; · from Bury to Beckton, an extra 29 photo centres ensuring ASDA has 70 one-hour film and accessory departments by the end of the year. In contrast to this rapid growth, ASDA's pharmacy expansion plans are effectively on hold pending the outcome of the Office of Fair Trading's investigation into the way pharmacy dispensing licences are granted. ASDA has just opened a non-dispensing pharmacy at its Manchester supercentre and is likely to open only one more standard pharmacy, in Llanelli, this year. Nevertheless, the OFT is expected to report this Autumn and ASDA continues to campaign for an overhaul in opening rules to give patients access to a more pharmacies with lower prices. ASDA is making a mark in all its new business areas: · In jewellery, ASDA's latest ranges include 9ct gold jewellery from £3.00 up to £499 for a diamond solitaire ring; · At its opticians, ASDA's expansion plans will make it Britain's making it Britain's sixth largest chain of opticians by the end of the year with eye tests currently just £5, some four times less than prices elsewhere; · At ASDA photo centres, named best value digital processor by Digital Photography Magazine, one hour processing of a 24 6x4 film will cost a third less than high street prices at just £4.88; · Since the abolition of medicine price fixing, ASDA pharmacies have consistently reduced prices. Rennies (24) are now just £1.18 compared to £1.69 and Lemsip (10s) £1.41 compared to £2.85 when drug companies fixed prices. "Rapid expansion into new areas means we're becoming the new department stores of the 21st century," said ASDA's speciality business unit director David Miles. "And by the end of this year almost all our shoppers will be able to see it for themselves at their local ASDA." -ends- Further Information: Nick Agarwal, 0113 241 7112 Out of hours, 0113 243 5435 Editors' Notes: A summary of ASDA's speciality expansion plans is attached. ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker The following files are available for download: The full report The full report