Asda steps up its jewellery, optical and photo centre commitment

Supermarket chain Asda is to create nearly 800 new jobs, with a £7m rollout of its jewellery, optical and photo centres during 2005.

Thirty new photo centres will be opened at a cost of £5m, bringing the total to 140.

Another 30 stores will get jewellery departments, at an investment cost of £1.6m.

A total of 210 stores will have a jewellery counter by the end of the year, with self-select units in other stores meaning that 258 out of 274 Asda stores will offer its jewellery range.

Six further stores will have optical departments at a cost of just over £400,000, creating 60 jobs and bringing the total number to 85.

The announcement came as the supermarket operator, which is owned by Wal-Mart, revealed that sales were up more than 25 per cent year-on-year for for the specialist sales areas.

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