Andy Bond: 'exceeded' plans

Supermarket group Asda enjoyed record sales growth at its Enniskillen shop and turnover "exceeded" its sales plans, according to chief executive Andy Bond.

Asda is owned by US retailer Wal-Mart. It is understood to be trialling home delivery to the Republic from the North. The company has said it hopes to offer home delivery to shoppers here. Bond said last week that Asda's home-shopping business increased by nearly 50% last year and that it expects the market to double in the next five years.

Asda is also opening smaller shops which could suit the Republic. The new shops are all under 25,000sq ft and are designed "to meet the needs of local communities", according to Bond, although customers can do a full weekly shop there. A separate division has been set up to "accelerate" the format's growth.

Wal-Mart recently ann­ounced it was setting up global merchandising centres to remove "the middleman wherever possible" to allow it reduce prices, Bond said.