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Walmart Puts Sale Of UK’s Asda On Hold As Coronavirus Creates Surge

 |  April 2, 2020

Walmart has put plans to sell a majority stake in UK grocer Asda on hold so the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer can focus on managing its business in the wake of a surge in grocery orders created by the coronavirus pandemic, sources said Thursday, April 2.

Asda, Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket, had attracted significant interest from private-equity firms, who were looking at the grocer at a valuation at as much as US$9 billion, CNBC reported. 

The coronavirus outbreak has created an extraordinary demand for groceries, as shoppers panic-buy food and household items such as toilet paper.

Walmart plans to hire 150,000 employees to keep up with demand. The retailer had hired nearly 50,000 employees as of late Monday, and it’s been averaging about 5,000 new hires a day, according to Dan Bartlett, Walmart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs.

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