Tesco is to open a department store under a new fascia in the Czech Republic at the end of February.

The store will open in Liberec and carry a mix of fashion, home furnishings and food. It will be branded My Liberec and be run as a separate unit within the Tesco business.

The department store will include fashion brands alongside own-labels. Brands will include Esprit, Miss Sixty, Energie, Quiksilver, Levi’s, Springfield, Cortefiel, Women’Secret, Adidas, Billabong, Full Circle, Calvin Klein, D&G and Guess.

One source close to Tesco said the grocer is positioning the department store towards the higher end of the market – “one step down from Selfridges”.

The project is being headed by Marcus Chipchase, who is understood to have drafted in a management team from rival retailers such as New Look and Middle Eastern retail group Alshaya. He said: “We are still confirming all the details but the department store will be a departure from Tesco.”

Chipchase would not discuss whether further openings were planned but it is understood Tesco is also mulling department stores in Prague and Bratislava in Slovakia.

Tesco is considering converting several stores in the Czech Republic to the My format, with the name of the city inserted after My. It is unclear whether Tesco will bring its depart-ment store format to the UK.

The initiative follows news last week that Tesco will launch an online clothing operation under a separate brand. It is further evidence the grocer is seeking to launch separate businesses under different names.

The site will initially carry Tesco’s own-label ranges such as Florence & Fred, Cherokee and Connie Fisher’s My Favourite Things but could include other brands in the future.