LONDON — The plan by Wal-Mart Stores to open small-format stores in the U.S. comes as no surprise to Tesco, which remains confident it can withstand such competition, as it believes its own Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores are a unique concept. “Opening a small store is exactly what I'd do,” said Philip Clarke, international and IT director at Tesco, speaking at the IGD Global Retailing conference here last month. “When Wal-Mart bought Asda, we started opening hypermarkets. But ...

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