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Tesco launches discount stores to counter Aldi and Lidl

Feeling the pressure from Aldi and Lidl
Feeling the pressure from Aldi and Lidl Feeling the pressure from Aldi and Lidl AFP

London (AFP)

British supermarket giant Tesco on Wednesday announced plans for discount food stores across the country, as it comes under increasing pressure from German-owned Aldi and Lidl.

Tesco, which is Britain's biggest retailer, said the first two Jack's stores open Thursday followed by up to another 13 over the next six months.

The discount brand is named after Jack Cohen, who founded Tesco in 1919, and the launch will coincide with the company's centenary celebrations.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said Jack's would sell "great-tasting food at the lowest possible prices with eight out of ten products grown, reared or made in Britain".

Data group Euromonitor International noted in a recent report that the German "discounters continue to shape the direction" of the UK grocery market.

"Consumer demand for low prices, driven by food price inflation in the wake of the Brexit referendum, as well as real wage stagnation, are part of the reason for this," it said.

Faced with increased competition, Tesco's biggest UK rivals Sainsbury's and Walmart-owned Asda are looking to merge.

But the mega deal faces uncertainty, with Britain's competition watchdog on Wednesday launching an in-depth probe into the proposed tie-up.

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