Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy originally planned to open 10,000 convenience stores in the US.

The supermarket’s chief executive was behind a five-year, £1.25bn blueprint for US domination that has since been scaled back dramatically, according to former Tesco executive Colin Smith.

“It was [Sir Terry’s] idea to have 10,000 small convenience stores on every junction, in every major city in the US,” Smith told the Financial Times.

He told the paper Sir Terry had “given it a lot of thought [and] had obviously been formulating the plan for a long time”.

Tesco currently operates around 170 stores in the US under its Fresh & Easy fascia and has struggled to make a profit since making its debut across the Atlantic in 2007.

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