Asda chief executive Andy Clarke has told Checkout magazine that while expansion into the Republic of Ireland isn't on the cards for the retailer at the moment, it's not something that can be ruled out entirely in the future.
"In terms of Ireland, we never say never," Clarke told Checkout editor Stephen Wynne-Jones in London last week, "although we don't comment on speculation."
On suggestions that Asda could make a play for Dunnes Stores, some five years on since the UK retailer was last linked with a bid for its Irish counterpart, Clarke said that there is "nothing new for me to add" on that front.
Clarke noted that Northern Ireland remains a core focus for Asda, with further store openings planned in the future. "We've got a good business in Northern Ireland, we are investing, and we are continuing to open stores in Northern Ireland," he said.
As an aside, he added that following the exit of the England rugby team from the Rugby World Cup, he would be getting behind Ireland as they prepare for a challenging quarter final against Argentina this coming Sunday.
"Now the English are out, I will switch my allegiance to the boys in green," he said. "I'll be cheering for you."
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones