Dutch retail giant Ahold yesterday appeared unconcerned by the arrival of UK counterpart Tesco in the US online grocery arena. Tesco, provider of the UK's leading online grocery offering, is to partner with US supermarket major Safeway Inc. to move into the US market, effectively relaunching GroceryWorks, the online grocery provider Safeway bought last year.

The US is a huge market for Ahold, so is likely to take a keen interest in the move made by Tesco. However, Hans Gobes, a spokesman for the Dutch group, insisted there was no talk of viable competition as online grocery sales are still small. Gobes reminded the press that Tesco has yet to make a profit from its relatively mature UK online operations.