Asda has opened its first new-build mezzanine store. Depending on its success, the model is likely to shape the grocer's expansion strategy over the coming years.
The Wal-Mart-owned retailer opened the Harlow, Essex, outlet on Monday, on the back of the performance of refitted mezzanine stores in York, Govan and Cumbernauld.
The 55,000 sq ft (5,110 sq m) Harlow outlet includes 25,000 sq ft (2,320 sq m) of mezzanine space.
Asda has been able to fit almost all of its non-food range on the mezzanine, including George clothing, electricals and cookware.
Asda has identified 40 existing stores that could take mezzanines, but will consider including them in new-builds when the location is suitable.
A spokesman said: 'It's about doing what the law on planning wants us to do. Mezzanines enable us to offer the widest range to our customers.'