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Tesco heads back to US with launch of new F&F clothing franchises

TESCO is returning to the US with the latest phase of international expansion for its F&F clothing brand, just seven months after ditching its ill-fated Fresh & Easy grocery business.

F&F is to open seven franchise outlets on the east coast in partnership with US company Retail Group of America.

Britain's biggest supermarket made the announcement just days before it is expected to announce a second year in a row of falling profits in annual results figures likely to pile further pressure on boss Philip Clarke.

It comes seven months after Tesco announced it was dumping its loss-making Fresh & Easy business, selling 150 stores to US firm Yucaipa and shutting 50 more. The group has said it was taking a £1.2bn hit from exiting the venture.

The F&F brand was launched in the UK and Ireland in 2001 and now has stores in 21 countries. Its first US stores will open near Boston in May. Others will be in Philadelphia and Newport, Virginia.

F&F chief executive Jason Tarry said: "We are delighted to be bringing F&F's range of affordable fashion to customers in the USA this year, including four stores in one of the world's fashion and shopping capitals, New York."

This week's Tesco results are expected to see pre-tax profits shrink by 15% to around £3bn for the full year.

Mr Clarke is in the midst of a £1bn turnaround plan which was launched in the face of last year's first fall in group profits in nearly 20 years.

Belfast Telegraph