Asda Blantyre


2009 Clydeview Shopping CentreAsquith and Dairies (ASDA) opened their massive supermarket store in Blantyre in October 1980 to divided reactions.

The company had its origin even back to 1920’s as Associated Dairies. On one hand the boarded up premises along Glasgow Road had been demolished and a new, modern commercial hub had appeared in Low Blantyre. On the other hand, some businesses and individuals, including homes, were casualties of that development, either having to relocate or retire. Many shopkeepers however, could not relocate and felt that they would not be able to compete with such a giant coming to our town.

Part of ASDA’s development included the building of Clydeview Shopping Centre on redeveloped land between Victoria Street and Logan Street on the site of the former Central Buildings and where the former Stonefield Primary School had been. Whilst some successful businesses have thrived in the location, there are many empty retail units in the shopping centre, primarily due to excessive rates, way beyond most local small enterprises would pay. The closed shutters of the precinct, as you drive by on Glasgow Road, give the impression of dereliction. The problem is also the units cannot be let for businesses that compete directly with ASDA’s own products. The precinct has seen many businesses come and go at this location and more recently attracted charity shops. Of course, rather than condemning ASDA, which many people do when they talk of Blantyre’s history and lost character, remember too, that ASDA have been a source of employment for thousands of people over the decades in Blantyre and still attracts many residents for their weekly shopping and fuel. Asda became part of the Walmart chain in July 1999. In August 2009, Walmart “sold” Asda for £6.9 billion to their Leeds-based investment subsidiary Corinth Services Limited.

Asda originally had a “simple and fresh” store format, which under Director Archie Norman’s team and the focus on a Walmart style strategy became more emphasised. The stores are generally white and green, with simplistic layout but built on a Walmart larger footprint format – Asda’s average store is almost 20% bigger than its rivals. In 2004, it introduced its George brand of clothing to the store. It is estimated ASDA alone have approximately 17.5% of the overall UK retail market share for food.

Even until only a few years ago, the ASDA Blantyre Petrol Station had a kiosk and was operated by staff, rather than the self service we’re used to now. I worked in that petrol station part time in 1988 along with a girl a little older than me called Joan Tierney. It was an early start at the weekends, even before the store opened and no sign of any kind of self service payment. Similarly there appears to be a trend towards self service in the store too with several self checkouts installed between 2011 and 2014. Who would have thought in 1980, we’d one day be able to walk into a store and have technology trust us enough to pay without an operator! Pictured in 2009 is my photo of Clydeview Shopping Centre, perhaps some people will remember the carpet shops at the corner that have come and gone over the years Hawkhead, Jem and even once a pound shop. (which I have to admit, was quite good)

With so many people once and currently employed at ASDA, I’d love to hear your stories , memories or tales of any characters who were once there.

Opinion was divided on Social Media:

Thomas Fallon Ruined Blantyre

Gary Doonin Something tells me that Asda don’t own the freehold but it was put together by a property and surveying company called Conrad Ritblat and ASDA on
Y have a long term lease ,is that right

Bary Maguire Pretty sure ASDA do own feuhold. Conrad Ritblat, who no longer exist, had involvement on behalf

Robert McLeod-Wolohan i worked in asda when it first opened lol i didnt think it was that long ago though, im getting old lol

Thomas Barrett Thats a myth Thomas Fallon asda saved Blantyre as it was full of run down derelict buildings the co-op ruined Blantyre.

Thomas Fallon Myth my arse Tam like Glasgow the tenements could and should have been renovated and restored to provide affordable housing in the heart of the town. Not that eye sore we see now with boarded up shops

Bruce Baldwin Killed off all the wee shops. Glasgow rd shops had everything from shoes to hardware and Electrics. Now all gone.. thanks asda

Bruce Baldwin Thomas it became a one store town God help it if asda goes now

Kevin Creechan I seem to recall some sort of giant balloon or something at the opening. Could see it from anywhere for miles.

The Blantyre Project I have a vague memory of that too. Like a small airship.

Kevin Creechan Yeah, it wasn’t like a normal baloon, it was like an old Goodyear Blimp, though considerably smaller. I used to climb my back gate so I could look over the houses at the bottom of Station Rd so I could see it.

Stephen Fallon Ruined Blantyre

Thomas Barrett Well it wasn’t asda that left Blantyre to ruin as I said they invested the money and redeveloped.

Bruce Baldwin Thomas I remember when they opened they were not supposed to stock things like hardware so Barrett’s could still survive but oops didn’t asda long to shut it down

Bruce Baldwin Also the units in clydeway we’re exstortionate and u were not allowed to compete with asda

John Duncan It did ruined blantyre all shops all gone way asda with there high rental even post office it would be some place if it shut down nothing left in blantyre adds seen to that janet

Margaret Slaven Mc Sorley Agree with Thomas Fallon tam x

Ray Couston If I had the money, I’d open a big Subway franchise where Jems Carpets used to be. It would make its money on school lunchtimes alone and adds some competition to Greggs, Stefanos and the chippies in the area. tongue emoticon

Thomas Barrett All I’m saying is asda were the only ones to invest in Blantyre the main st was a mess not asdas fault.

Mhairi McGaulley I don’t remember when Asda wasn’t there but the one thing I will say is that Asda have ruined business in Blantyre. Think of all the shops that have come and gone in those units over the years, and actually when you think about it, some of those Units have never been opened up. Asda don’t like letting their units to businesses that sell what they sell.

Jane Johnstone Probably bought petrol from you…lol😀

Max Sneddon It’s a shithole and most of the units have been empty for Bryan Deazeley I remember when the corner unit was Motorists Discount Centre MDC, and I had a few mates who worked in it when it was Capital (for fresh and frozen food!). I liked the pound shop too.
I don’t go near Asda though, avoid it like the plague…

Sheona Thomson Brennan The staff on that lottery counter are the most ignorant staff ive ever came across in a shop, never a smile unless its for someone they know!

Margaret Bonnar Mohan It’s not alone . Big shops all over have brought an end to the wee shops in every village and town look at Hamilton
The places all look like ghost towns compared to how they were 30 years ago . You don’t hear of wee boys going into butchery or fish mongering any more because everybody buys it all under the one roof .

Lorna Wightman I agree with you Margaret Bonnar Mohan . I sometimes go to uddingston instead of supermarket .I love going up and down main street , into butchers, fruit shop ,newsagents . Only one person missing is your dad standing at bus stop outside horseshoe to go home after going up and down the same msin street xx

Margaret Bonnar Mohan I know , it’s not the same Lorna xx

Marian Maguire They were not that nice a management when they opened at first, and have certainly ruined businesses in Blantyre. The whole shop has cheap n cheerful look about it. The children’s clothes are good and wash well.

Sheona Thomson Brennan You cant use royal bank of Scotland cards at the self service petrol station…

Annette Keenan I remember going on a trip from coatshill with my nursery which was the playbus from Berkeley drive to see the opening of asda God I’m getting old

Lou O’Neill Self service checkouts are a nightmare ! Hate them.
Have staff been paid off or hours reduced due to them ?

Billy Moffat How many jobs did it bring to Blantyre!

Stephen Allan I remember when the shop that is Hawkhead carpets in the picture was a frozen food shop called Capital.

June Finnie Cant stand that Asda, has a dirty look about it inside and out, car park is a nightmare, its only redeeming feature is most of its staff are lovely although there are a few who could do with lessons in customer service and those self service checkouts…..if we all refused to use them they would need more open checkouts….more jobs!

Leave a Reply