Recent reports say that Asda plans to leverage the global scale of its parent company Walmart following a series of meetings with fast moving consumer goods manufacturers at the Walmart US headquarters.

The retailer’s IT initiatives for the coming year include a continued expansion of its presence. On the supply side it is currently undergoing a multi-channel SAP Implementation Transport Solution.

In February ASDA announced its biggest jobs programme this decade, creating more than 9,000 new jobs through new store openings, extensions and business expansion. 7,000 jobs will be created over the next twelve months through the opening of between ten and 12 new superstores, ten Living stores and 12 extensions to existing outlets. In addition to this the firm said a further 1500 jobs will be created through the expansion of Home Shopping and ASDA Direct.

The new store programme, which began with the opening of Andover store in Hampshire in March, will add over 800,000 sq ft to the retailer's estate representing an investment of around £400m.

Asda has been keen to promote its green credentials even producing its own 30 minute documentary and it said 2008 will also see the unveiling of the ASDA latest high efficiency store in Bootle, Merseyside. The 40k square foot town centre store is ASDA's latest energy efficient store model, representing an investment of £16m. Due to open in November this year, the timber-framed store boasts a host of sustainable features, including, recycled bricks, a recycled aluminium roof, rainwater harvesting and natural lighting. The store will be 50 per cent more energy efficient than a typical ASDA store.

The store gained some notoriety recently when an edible European marsh frog survived in a sealed bag of salad leaves and turned up in the home of an unsuspecting UK shopper.