CMA to investigate Asda’s Co-op store buyout

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating Asda’s £600 million purchase of 132 Co-op retail sites.

The regulator said that it is considering whether the buyout, which finalised in October, has resulted in a lessening of competition within the UK market.

The purchase includes 129 convenience stores with attached petrol stations and three development sites.

Across the 132 sites there are more than 2,300 people employed by the Co-op, who will all join Asda over the next few months, following a consultation with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.

An Asda spokesperson said that the purchase of the sites is part of the retailer's long-term strategy to build a convenience business.

“We referred the acquisition to the CMA when it completed last October and look forward to working collaboratively with them in the coming months,” they continued.

The probe comes six weeks after Asda said it would create 10,000 new roles over the next four years as the retailer plans a nationwide roll out of its new express store concept.

The supermarket plans to open 300 convenience stores by the end of 2026.

Asda said it the move forms part of plans to become the UK's second largest supermarket, which is currently Sainsbury's.

The supermarket retailer said it would open 30 more stores in 2023, creating around 500 new jobs.

The stores will stock roughly 3,000 products across fresh, ambient and chilled groceries, as well as alcohol and its premium range.

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