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Tesco to Open Stores Selling Only Nonfoods

CHESHUNT, England -- Tesco said late last week that it will open two trial nonfoods stores, one each in Aberdeen, Scotland and Manchester, England, over the next year. The stores will operate under the Tesco Homeplus banner.

According to the United Kingdom's No. 1 grocer, if the stores perform well, Tesco will be able to increase customer access to its expanding selection of nonfood items, since just 20 percent of the U.K. population now lives within easy reach of a Tesco Extra store, a supercenter-style format.

Tesco marketing manager Tim Mason noted in a statement: "We know that our customers love the convenience of a one-stop shop, and our priority will always be to provide this by selling nonfood and food under the one roof. . .We hope this trial will be popular with those customers who cannot currently access our great value and wide range of nonfood products."

The supermarket said it had completed a customer research project to get feedback on the planned store designs and anticipated that the two stores would open in early October.

Unlike Tesco's Extra format, which they otherwise strongly resemble, the Homeplus stores will carry no food, but will offer a wide selection of nonfoods, among them electronics, kitchen appliances, toys, books, HBC, and a full range of clothing. The company noted that its clothes sales rose 28 percent last year.

Both locations are existing stores that will be renovated, with work scheduled to begin next month.

Each store will employ about 100 staff members, creating new jobs in the surrounding areas, Tesco noted.
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