Tesco is to launch made-to-order furniture when its latest Tesco Direct non-food catalogue hits stores today.

The initiative, to add custom-built lines to its extensive range of furniture, will turn the screws on retailers such as DFS and Ikea.

Tesco will offer items in 12 materials and three leather options.

Tesco launched Tesco Direct, its combined non-food catalogue and web site, in September 2006 and sales are expected to have exceeded£150 million for the financial year that ended last month.

However, Tesco is conducting an efficiency drive across the business (Retail Week, last week) that will lead to a restructuring of departments, such as property, Tesco Direct and Tesco.com, in an effort to better equip it for future growth.

Last week, Piper Jaffray analyst Mike Dennis said that Tesco could make between 10 and 15 per cent of staff redundant in its Tesco.com and non-food businesses. But Retail Week has learned that many staff will be offered other roles.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Every business looks at itself from time to time and that is what we are doing.”

Separately, Tesco has temporarily halted selling fashion items on Tesco Direct’s web site, despite a successful three-month trial. It is considering launching a large-scale online clothing operation.