Wal-Mart has upped its game in its fight against Tesco’s Fresh & Easy format, promising to deliver “the highest level of customer service” at its small neighbourhood grocery stores.

The world’s largest retailer said its planned 15,000 sq ft (1,395 sq m) Marketside neighbourhood stores will be “dedicated to helping our customers answer the question ‘What’s for dinner?’”

According to The Financial Times, Wal-Mart is also planning to prepare and serve food in the stores. The stores will include a kitchen, food counters and seating for up to nine people.

Job adverts for the first four locations in Arizona describe Marketside as “the neighbourhood market for busy people with a taste for fresh and delicious food”. The stores – Wal-Mart’s first new format for a decade – will be in direct competition with Fresh & Easy supermarkets.

Tesco has opened more than 60 Fresh & Easy neighbourhood stores since November around Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix, Arizona.