Grocer limbers up for autumn general merchandise push
Tesco has unveiled details of its of its first two standalone non-food stores, in its latest assault on general merchandise retailers.

The 30,000 sq ft (2,785 sq m) retail park outlets at Denton in Greater Manchester and Aberdeen are due to open in October and expected to be called Tesco Homeplus - the name of its Korean business.

It plans to open more Homeplus stores next year. It is understood units in Bristol and Telford are on its shortlist.

Tesco's move will pile further pressure on the high street and underlines its commitment to be as big a player in non-food as it is in food. The grocer already boasts a 7 per cent share of the UK's non-food market.

Tesco marketing director Tim Mason (pictured) said: 'We know our customers love the convenience of a one-stop shop and our priority will always be to provide this by selling non-food and food under one roof. However, only a minority live close enough to access a Tesco Extra store.'

Tesco has 100 Extra stores and plans to open another 20 this year, but only 20 per cent of the population can reach them.

Standalone non-food outlets will give the retailer further opportunity for growth in a tough planning climate. Homeplus will stock the full non-food offer, including entertainment, homewares, electricals, clothing and health and beauty ranges.

Asda's first standalone non-food store, Asda Living, opened at Walsall last year. A second has been opened at Altrincham in Cheshire and a third will debut at Cortonwood, near Barnsley, today. An Asda spokesman said the Living stores are performing beyond their expectations.

Retail consultant Robert Clark said: 'I don't think it's a foregone conclusion it will be a success. Tesco has done well where you can do your food and non-food shopping at the same time, so this will provide a different marketing challenge.'