Asda opens in Swaffham
The first stage of a �1m refit of two Norfolk supermarkets was completed today when Asda opened its doors in Swaffham.
Asda bosses announced plans to rebrand the Netto in Lynn Street last year along with the Netto store in St Nicholas Retail Park in King's Lynn, creating 32 new jobs and forming part of the multi-million pound take-over of the discount chain.
Yesterday the first store was opened by pupils from Swaffham Infant School cutting the ribbon. The King's Lynn store opens tomorrow with the West Norfolk Voluntary and Community Action group performing the honours.
Store manager Robert Atkin said: 'We wanted to celebrate the opening of our new store with the people who really make a difference to the community.'
Headteacher Fiona Beard said it was a 'real honour' to be asked to open the store and the children had loved being the first to shop there. She added: 'We look forward to working in partnership with Asda moving forward and welcoming them to support our activity programme in school.'
The move was also welcomed by the Advance Swaffham Action Group which applauded the financial investment and extra jobs, with existing Netto employees also being kept on.
The supermarkets are two of a total of 147 former Netto stores to be re-branded this year. Asda bought Netto in a �778m buy-out last year - the equivalent of �4m per outlet.
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But the deal was only approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on the condition that it sold 46 of the 194 new stores to help maintain some local competition.