C-store retailers in Northern Ireland could soon be caught up in a price war after Asda agreed to buy 12 Safeway stores in the province from Morrisons.
Subject to approval from the Office of Fair Trading, Asda expects the conversion of the 12 stores to take three months. It plans to invest more than £30m on modernisation and refurbishment over the next two years.

The company has also made a commitment that its prices in the 12 stores will be no higher than those found in the rest of its 279 British-based stores. Asda president Andy Bond said: “For the first time, we’ll be able to bring real competition to Northern Ireland by introducing our great value and an unmatchable mix of food, general merchandise and George clothing.”

Asda has announced it is on target to double the size of its home shopping service by the end of the year. The company expects to reach 60% of homes in Britain by September by adding a further 21 stores to its service.