US shoppers have a strong positive reaction to Tesco's US c-store format Fresh & Easy, according to independent research.

The research, involving 700 customers outside nine Fresh & Easy stores, rated Fresh & Easy higher than Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market on freshness of product and beat Wal-Mart on value for money, according to the Financial Times.

It follows reports that the chain had failed to hit internal sales targets since opening its doors last autumn.

“Fresh & Easy is the new cult retailer,” said Execution Research which carried out the research. “At the risk of doing the job of Tesco's public relations department, Fresh & Easy is already an incredible success story.”