Tesco has unveiled its first US format to launch later this year, saying it will initially target the small convenience store format in four US cities.

The UK retail giant’s entry to the US market will be named "Fresh & Easy Neighbourhood Market", and is likely to repeat the same rollout efficiency characterised by its push into other markets, including the first Tesco store to open in Beijing last month.

"Our company has enjoyed strong success in countries throughout Europe and Asia and we are excited to bring that success to America," said Fresh & Easy Neighbourhood Market chief executive, Tim Mason.

The rollout will target Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Its "Tesco-in-a-Box" suite of systems, which consists of a mix of standard enterprise resource planning (ERP) packages for common processes and customised Tesco applications for areas of competitive advantage has allowed it to be extremely cost effective when rolling out stores and processes in Europe and Asia so far, while still being sensitive to local markets.

Tesco already operates in 12 countries and dominates a third of the UK grocery market. But the company made the expansion announcement on the same day market figures showed Asda, owned by US giant Wal-Mart, had made slight gains on Tesco in the 12 weeks to 28 January.