Asda has today announced the opening of its new Merchandising Centre of Excellence (MCE) in Leeds, close to its existing head office.
Located on the former Pentair site on Great Wilson Street, the MCE includes a full-size model store for mocking up different shelf layouts and a state-of-the-art virtual reality lab, where Asda and its suppliers can test store layouts and construction plans virtually, making sure they get things right for customers from the start.
In addition, the site boasts a 650-seat auditorium, where Asda will host conferences for colleagues and suppliers, and 148 colleague parking spaces to ease some demand for parking in Leeds city centre.
The build was completed in rapid fashion, taking a total of eight weeks from start to finish. A previous MCE had been located on the old Tetley Brewery site until earlier this year.
Shaun Bamforth, MCE Manager, said: “The new MCE is a significant investment for Asda and a great way for us to ensure that we’re getting everything right for our customers before we roll it out to stores. It’s also a boost to the local economy in Leeds – as well as the investment during the construction phase, the site gives us the ability to host conferences and events that will bring thousands of people into the city centre each year.”