UK retail giant Tesco has insisted a US court’s environmental ruling will not derail its expansion plans in California.

The world’s third-largest retailer is looking to take its Fresh & Easy business into northern California after opening 15 outlets in Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix and Los Angeles this month.

Tesco is aiming to have 200 outlets in the US by 2009, is looking at sites for new stores in San Francisco and Northern California and wants to build a second distribution centre.

However, on Friday (30 November), a district court in California said the development that houses Tesco’s current distribution centre needed to do more to meet environmental regulations.

The ruling could delay Tesco’s expansion plans. A Tesco spokesman said the case had been “ongoing for some time” and had so far not held up the launch of its Fresh & Easy business.

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The spokesman added: “We will review the ruling to understand what further compliance might be necessary but there is nothing in the ruling handed down that we believe will affect the operation or further rollout of the business.”