US retail giant Wal-Mart has confirmed that it will open its first Marketside test stores at the beginning of October.

According to an announcement on the Marketside website, it will launch four stores at locations in and around Phoenix, Arizona, on 4 October. Stores will be opened in Mesa, Chandler, Tempe and Gilbert, the company revealed.

The smaller format Marketside concept is being launched in response to UK retailer Tesco's establishment of Fresh & Easy outlets on the West Coast. The retailers will go head-to-head in the Phoenix market. 

Wal-Mart has previously told just-food that the Marketside outlet is still in its test phase and the company currently has no plans for a nationwide rollout.

Wal-Mart was unavailable for further comment as just-food went to press.