Asda has stepped up its expansion by pledging to open at least 15 new stores - some in the West Midlands - and create 6,000 jobs in 2005.
The proposals, worth £600 million, also include 20 investment schemes and five non-food outlets to add to a trial store already in existence.
The UK's second biggest supermarket chain, which has 275 sites, announced the plans on the same day its US-based parent company Wal-Mart posted a 16 per cent increase in profits to $3.16 billion (£1.68 billion) for its fourth quarter to January 31.
It also said earnings for the full year topped $10 billion for the first time, at $10.27 billion (£5.45 billion). Annual revenues at the world's biggest retailer stood at $ 288.19 billion (£152.92 billion).
The expansion plans for the UK will include new stores in Frome in Somerset, Brynmawr in South Wales and Cape Hill in Birmingham. Work also began yesterday on a new supercentre as part of a regeneration scheme in Milton Keynes.
The new stores include the previously-announced acquisition of former Safeway stores at Northampton, Burton, Coventry and Shrewsbury.
Two former Co-op sites are due to open in Aberdeen and Pembroke Dock in South Wales. The five non-food stores to open in the first half of this year include Asda Living sites at Altrincham in Cheshire and Cortonwood.