London Tesco said it is planning a “massive superstore surge’ before proposed restrictions, according to a report by the Financial Times.
The retailer is planning to add around 75 new supermarkets across Britain before a proposed clampdown that would restrict its ability to expand.
The country’s largest retailer has lodged nearly double the number of planning applications as its two largest rivals combined, according to data obtained by The Times.
The intense planning activity comes as ministers discuss new rules that would limit new store openings by locally dominant chains. One rival accused Tesco of planning a “surge” in new stores before a proposed competition test that would threaten its expansion plans.
Tesco has approximately 76 outstanding planning applications, from convenience stores to hypermarkets. Most have been lodged in the past year. Asda and J Sainsbury have submitted only about 45 between them, excluding extensions.
The competition watchdog has recommended a new test making it harder for supermarkets to open new stores in areas where they are already dominant. The Department for Communities and Local Government is planning its response, according to the report.
A list of Tesco’s planning application suggests that more than 80% of the proposals are for larger stores, including about a dozen applications for huge Tesco Extras.