Speaking at a Retail Week conference Attila Winstanley, Tesco stores director, productivity, said: 'We are exploring the idea [of standalone fashion stores], make of that what you will.'
Tesco launched Homeplus, its first UK non-food standalone, in Manchester at the end of September. The grocer has enjoyed strong sales growth in clothing - up 15 per cent at the interims. That performance may encourage the retailer to test the waters with dedicated clothing shops.
Tesco may also make a move into higher-end fashion to complement its existing Florence & Fred, Cherokee and Value clothing offers. Winstanley said that a Tesco Finest fashion range is something that 'is always an option' as the business becomes more experienced in clothing retail.
Asda opened its first George standalone stores in 2003. There are now 10 George outlets on the high street.