It's as big as a large Tesco Extra and it sells Mongolian cows' milk. It's the world's largest Spar store - and it's just opened its doors in China.

At 107,600 sq ft, the new store is more than 25 times the size of an average Spar store in the UK and employs more than 500 staff.

It is divided into three areas, and offers more than 15,000 products for sale.

One third of floor space is given over to non food products, including a vast children's clothing range. The rest is dedicated to fresh and ambient grocery products. The fresh food area has been designed to have a market-style feel, with a strong focus on local produce and other specialities, such as Mongolian cows' milk, peanut oil, tofu and dried fish.

A strong emphasis has been placed on Spar's value products, with a large section of wall space given over to Real Deals.

There is also a large crèche and International Spar concept restaurant which features foods from around the world.

A major marketing campaign to promote the store and the Spar brand is supporting the opening, with advertising on buses, billboards and shelters around the city.

Created in partnership with Chinese retailer Henan Star, it is the first Spar to open in Zhengzhou, in the Henan province. The city's population is more than six million. The store lies below halls of residence for students at a busy intersection.

Dr Gordon Campbell, managing director of International Spar, said: "Spar has been welcomed by the Chinese government as a counteractive force against increasing competition from international retailers and a supporter of independent business.

"Our first stores have proved to be very successful and have shown just how successful the Spar retail formula can be across the world."

The new store is the fourth Spar to open in China and plans are now afoot for Spar and Henan Star to open 60 more stores and three Spar Hypermarkets within the Henan province in the next three years.

The worldwide Spar organisation comprises 14,500 stores in 33 countries serving nine million consumers a day.