Asda opens food-free supermarket

Asda opens its first dedicated non-food supermarket this week in Walsall, with interiors designed in-house, in what is the first of three trial stores likely to open in the next year.

A second store in Cortonwood, Yorkshire opens in spring 2005; the third site is yet to be confirmed. The stores will be called Asda Living, and the chain’s identity has also been designed by Asda’s in-house team.

According to Asda head of retail design Brian Rutherford, interiors are ‘less regulated’ than a traditional supermarket space. They feature ‘racetrack’ movement lines rather than long aisles, softer lighting and wood-effect flooring.

‘We’ve warmed interiors up a bit and the stores are designed for browsing,’ adds Rutherford. ‘In supermarkets non-food is an impulse buy, but this is designed to be a destination shop.’

The two-storey, 3400m2 Walsall store features a 1500m2 upper floor dedicated to the supermarket’s George clothing brand, a ground floor space comprising entertainment, homeware, seasonal ranges, a health and beauty department and a coffee shop.

Clear zoning and colour segmentation has also been introduced and retail specialist Checkland Kindleysides has created graphics for the George elements of the store.

According to Rutherford products range from ‘entry price points’ to heavily branded goods. For example, the toasters stocked range in price from the cheapest, priced at £5.74 to a £99.97 Dualit model.

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