Asda says could create 12,000 jobs over 5 years

LONDON Mon Apr 7, 2014 1:19pm EDT

A sign for the ASDA supermarket chain stands outside a store in London, January 23, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

A sign for the ASDA supermarket chain stands outside a store in London, January 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly

LONDON (Reuters) - Asda, the British arm of United States retailer Wal-Mart (WMT.N), could create 12,000 jobs as it expands in Britain over the next five years, it said on Monday.

The announcement was made by Doug McMillon, Walmart's president and CEO, during a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron at Asda's Clapham Junction store in south London.

He was speaking ahead of Wal-Mart's first ever board meeting in the UK.

Asda, which is battling with J Sainsbury (SBRY.L) to be Britain's No. 2 grocer by sales behind market leader Tesco (TSCO.L), already runs 577 stores in the country.

It plans to open more superstores, supermarkets, petrol station stores and click-and-collect points, particularly in the south of England where it is relatively under represented compared to rivals.

Asda said in February it would invest 750 million pounds ($1.3 billion) in 2014 in store openings, extensions and refurbishments.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Paul Sandle)