Now firmly ensconced as part of the world's biggest retailer, $338bn turnover Wal-Mart, Asda is continuing to expand and take advantage of the UK public's apparently voracious appetite for cheap groceries.

Superstores, ‘Living' lifestyle outlets and even eco-efficient stores are being created at the same time as Asda seeks to grow its role in internet shopping, for example through sales of electrical goods. At the same time, Asda is exploring niches, for example through a foray into traditional Asian clothing, by offering financial services and by fueling price wars by cutting the cost of petrol by 2p. The company, which has about 350 supermarkets, was even accused of creating a similar contest in flu vaccines. At Christmas, Asda will take on about 10,000 staff to cope with spiking demand.

Asda is embracing social media, for example by placing its ads on YouTube and like other supermarkets it is attempting to improve routing and scheduling of deliveries by deploying new software - this time from Paragon -- to move goods between its depots and stores. It is also attempting to improve shelf picking by opening a ‘virtual store' without tills so staff can collate web orders.

However, although Asda famously does ‘rollbacks ‘ on pricing, it has rejected loyalty cards as ‘gimmicks'.