Tesco has launched its first Argos-style shop-in-shop at its Homeplus store in Bristol, which opened this week.

The 50,000 sq ft store at Cribbs Causeway is the eighth Homeplus and incorporates the grocer’s first in-store order-and-collect service. A 10,000 sq ft storage area for stocking Tesco Direct products has been installed.

The venture is believed to have been based on the model of catalogue store group Argos, owned by Home Retail. Sources say that, on its first day of trading, some Argos staff paid visits to the Cribbs store to scrutinise its offer.

Tesco plans to open a further nine Homeplus stores and is adding 80 more Tesco Direct desks in its supermarkets across the country by the end of the year. Last year, Tesco Direct notched up sales of more than£180 million.

Tesco has also introduced 100 per cent self-checkout for the first time in a Homeplus store, but with assistance for those who need it.

A spokesman said: “Our promise is to make checkout easy for everyone and, because we know every customer is different, there are a range of choices – completing the transaction for the customer through a self-service checkout, assisting the customer by scanning or packing for them or guiding and coaching the customer on how they use the checkout.

“There will always be someone on hand, so if elderly or disabled customers need assistance they shall receive it.”

He added that the Cribbs Causeway shop is a laboratory store where the grocer can try out new services.

* Argos distribution workers have voted to hold two 24-hour strikes on July 17 and July 24.

They will be followed by a four-day stoppage staggered across Argos depots at the end of this month. Staff rejected a 4 per cent pay offer earlier this month.