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LONDON (Kyodo) Tesco PLC, a ubiquitous name in British retail, said Wednesday it will open its first Tesco Express convenience store in Japan later this month and aims to open up to 25 outlets in the Tokyo area this year.

The first store will open in Nerima Ward, which has Tokyo’s second-highest population.

Tesco, the world’s third-biggest retailer behind French supermarket chain Carrefour and Wal-Mart of the United States, plans to give each store about 914 sq. meters of floor space. The stores are to have fewer lines than conventional supermarkets and be situated closer to where people live and work, the company said.

“The range, look and feel of these stores will be very local and will be run along the same principles as our Tesco Express stores in the U.K.,” a company spokesman said.

Tesco has been experimenting with several Express stores in Tokyo and is now ready to go ahead with an expansion.

Tesco has 1,500 stores of varying sizes in Britain, with a 31.2 percent share of the nation’s grocery market. Over the years, it has moved into the sale of nonfood lines, including housewares, clothing, books and CDs.

On Tuesday, the Tesco group announced a record annual profit of $5 billion.

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