THE ISSA brothers are reportedly considering plans to reduce grocery floor spaces in Asda stores to make way for cafes, takeaways and nail bars.

The plans, first reported in the Sunday Times, would involved grocery space in supermarket branches being shrunk by around a quarter in an effort to create new experiences for customers.

This comes amid the brothers' stated aim to invest £1 billion in the company over the next three years, which Mohsin and Zuber Issa affirmed in a joint statement issued on taking control of the company.

They said: "“Asda is an iconic British business that we have known and loved since we were children."

They added: "We are putting in place a robust capital structure to support that growth strategy, and we are confident that external investors will share our belief in Asda’s strong fundamentals and exciting future prospects."

The Blackburn-born billionaire EG Group founders acquired majority ownership of Asda in late 2020.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Asda's Blackburn branch 

In order to finance the £6.8 billion purchase from US retail giant Walmart, the billionaires, the brothers, backed by their private equity partners TDR Capital, used less than £800 million of their own money, with the rest coming from £3.5 billion of new debt along with the sale of junk bonds and of Asda distribution centres

In February, they and TDR Capital confirmed that their acquisition of Asda was complete.

Along with the plans to make space for salons, takeaways and cafes, the Issas are also said to be planning to replace most of the stores on EG Group forecourts with Asda stores and are considering spinning off Asda's in-house fashion label George.

Under its new owners, Asda’s supermarkets will also be distribution centres for its online arm, which doubled in size to 850,000 weekly shopping slots last year.

A source close to the brothers said that they would not be commenting on the plans for reducing grocery space at Asda stores at this stage.