This is Asda's own historical profile:
Asda can trace its roots back to a group of Yorkshire farmers who formed Hindell's Dairies in the 1920s, processing and retailing milk and meat to a growing customer base. The company expanded and diversified, acquiring more processing dairies, abattoirs, bakeries, shops, four managed farms and 22 rented farms, and in 1949, the company floated as Associated Dairies and Farm Stores Ltd.
Meanwhile, an American group, GEM, came to the UK with the idea of opening large stores filled with separate shops. This revolutionary idea was not really taken up by many customers at first, and in 1965 the company was ready to sell their UK holding.
Whilst GEM was exploring new ideas with these out-of-town superstores, the Asquith brothers opened the 'Queen's Supermarket' in Pontefract in 1963, offering "Permanent Reductions" and a shop open until 8pm on Fridays. Sites followed at Edlington in 1964 and South Elmsall in 1965. Despite success, the company needed financial backing. Associated Dairies and Queen's Supermarkets held talks and agreed to merge, creating Asda Stores Ltd. in 1965.
This new company decided to continue being revolutionary and bought the GEM chain in 1965, re-launching the stores in the Asda Queen's name.
In 1968, Associated Dairies purchased the Asquith's stockholding and the Asda name was now owned by one company.
Stores continued to open throughout the 1970s with great success. The group also bought Allied Retailers and some Gateway stores.
The group had spread too thinly across retail and the share price plummeted during the 1980s. Recovery came slowly, but by June 1999, with the company successful once more, Asda was acquired by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and became part of the world's biggest and best retailer.
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