Sainsbury’s opened its largest store this week as it seeks to fulfil its ambitious expansion plans.

The grocer opened its first 100,000 sq ft store in Crayford, Kent, on Wednesday. The extension means the store is two-and-a-half times bigger than its original size.

Until now, Sainsbury’s largest store was 80,000 sq ft.

New features at the Crayford store include food from its counters being available in the cafe, a home and lifestyle section that aims to look more like a department store than a supermarket and separate areas for ‘baby’ and ‘pet’ worlds.

Rival Tesco, which already operates stores larger than 100,000 sq ft, also said this week it was trialling a Baby World shop-in-shop in its Walkden store in Manchester.

The Crayford store features Sainsbury’s largest range of home entertainment, and a 20,000 sq ft Tu clothing area. It also has an O2 mobile phone concession.

The store is part of its plans to increase its shopfloor space by 15% in the two years to March 2011. This represents an extra 2.5 million sq ft.

Sainsbury’s is exploring the possibility of opening in China, which would mark its first overseas foray for more than a decade. It dispatched a six-man team to China last month.