Escalating costs a result of store-count target
Britain's biggest retailer Tesco has revealed that its US entrance this year could cost more than three times the original estimate.

The retailer initially forecast start-up costs of about£20 million. However, Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy said: 'It's certainly better than£66 million and slightly worse than£64 million.'

He added: 'Why so big? Because we're starting a new business in the US, we can't just open a couple of stores.' Leahy would not confirm the number of stores he plans to open, but said that it was 'significant'.

The US stores will include an own-brand Fresh & Easy line of products with no trans fats, artificial colours or flavouring, according to a newsletter the company sent to potential customers in some of the areas its plans to open stores.

The newsletter said the new supermarkets will be easily accessible and offer everything from 'everyday staples to gourmet items'.

Tesco plans to launch in the US as an environmentally friendly retailer, by marketing itself using the colour green. The newsletter was published in green, rather than Tesco's traditional red, white and blue, and the colour will be used on the stores' exteriors. It also appears on employee business cards. In addition, the US stores will use low-energy display lighting, as well as specially engineered refrigeration units.