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Wal-Mart Will Counter Tesco Invasion

Wal-Mart has secured leases on four properties southeast of Phoenix to compete with the new Fresh & Easy markets being rolled out in the U.S. by Tesco, the British grocer. The new pilot stores--to be called "Marketside"--are about 20,000 square feet, a tenth of the size of the typical Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Its new logo, filed in planning documents in Arizona and consisting of green lettering with a stylised tomato, egg and grape topped by a Wal-Mart blue star, suggests the format will--like Tesco's Fresh & Easy--have a far stronger stress on fresh foods. The retailer has also registered a number of new trade names in recent months, such as City Thyme and Field & Vine, which some industry analysts believe could be used for new private-label fresh-food offerings.

Wal-Mart declined to give details of the new stores, but the company characterizes them as comparable with its existing Neighborhood Markets, which it uses to "fill in" between Supercenters. At about 35,000 square feet, the Neighborhood Markets are roughly the size of a traditional U.S. supermarket.



Read the whole story at Financial Times »

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