Our Story and Future

From the UK’s first discounter to one of Britain’s leading retailers, we’ve been delivering our everything for our customers and our colleagues since the 1960s. And it’s our vision for new ideas, for truly listening to our customers, and having the people who are all about pioneering us forward, that got us here. Today, we’ve got dedicated colleagues helping more than 18 million people every week – whether that’s at our superstores or supermarkets, petrol stations, depots, or even our online services.

5 colleagues in a line slapping their back pockets

The timeline of our everything

An inspiring trip across the pond inspired the Asquith brothers to create the UK’s first self-service supermarket – a place that would redefine how the country shopped forever. 

And here’s a slice of the journey that brought us here. You can read even more about it at asda.com.

Historical newspaper clipping of mayor and smartly-dressed colleagues with headline 'mayor visits new supermarket'

The early years

After opening and selling their first store, and an inspirational trip to the USA, Peter and Fred Asquith created the UK’s first self-service supermarket. And made an incredible discovery – food discounting. And just a few years later, Peter paired up with Associated Dairies, creating Asda on 3rd May 1965.

Redefining how we shop

Asda became the first store to offer General Merchandise, to phenomenal success – Judith Smith became the first checkout operator to take £1000 in a week at our Castleford store. The revamped stores we opened became landmark events, and we began dipping our toes into southern waters. We’d have over 80 stores by the end of the seventies, and we’d also have created our iconic ‘pocket tap’.

George section of store with banner saying ;browse, click, shop, George.com'

Growing and growing

From opening our hundredth store and even more distribution centres, to the birth of George and our first in-store pharmacy, we spent the rest of the 20th century truly making our mark on the supermarket industry. And keeping the transformation going. Which meant closing the century by starting our online retail service in 1998 a fitting close to this chapter.

Colleague loading customer's car boot at Asda Click and Collect point


We kicked off the 2000s by launching the grocery home shopping business, and later the non-food online business. We were named the top company to work for by the Sunday Times. And the Best Value Retailer by The Grocer for the seventh year running. From fundraising for charity, to opening an Eco Store and a stand-alone petrol station, the innovation well and truly carried on – especially with online sales, delivery and click & collect. Which would become vital later on…

That's just a slice of everything that’s made us Asda over the years. From the first self-service supermarket to one of the UK's leading retailers – growing, innovating, transforming, it’s just what we do. And we just don’t stop. That’s why there’s never been a better time to join us.

New Ownership and The Future

In October, 2020, the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital announced they had reached an agreement with Walmart to acquire a majority stake in Asda, with Walmart retaining an equity interest in the business. Since then we have taken several steps to invest in our business. Following the acquisition of 356 EG Group UK business, and the 119 stores acquired from the Co-op last year, the programme to convert the stores to Asda Express is well underway, which will help drive growth and profit in the business.

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