Anne Bruce
Tesco Ireland is considering whether to launch the Express convenience format in the Republic, and has opened its first petrol forecourt at a supermarket, as it builds "a multi-format store portfolio".
A spokesman said a standalone Express store was one of the options being considered for a site at Tralee, County Kerry, where Tesco has won planning permission for a new convenience store.
An alternative retail brand was the Tesco Local format, which Tesco has been trialling in north Dublin for three years.
The retailer has also entered the forecourt market with its first petrol station at its Killarney store in County Kerry, which opened last week.
The spokesman claimed petrol prices had dropped across the region after it undercut its cheapest local competitor by two cents a litre on unleaded, with "an excellent first week's trading".
"Killarney has gone from being the most expensive region in the Republic for petrol to being the cheapest," he said.
Tesco Ireland has planning permission for a second petrol site at its Sandyford store, County Dublin, opening in 2004, and two forecourts alongside existing stores are in the planning pipeline.
The spokesman said many of its Irish stores could not accommodate forecourts as they were in shopping centres, but around 20 stores were suitable,and it was evaluating a number of opportunities.

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