Retail behemoth Wal-Mart is planning a fresh assault on city dwelling consumers with a new breed of grocery stores.

Dallas, Texas will see the first new “urban” discount store, built on two levels with an underground car park and escalators to the shopping aisles above.

“We are realising that in many places in the United States people are moving back into the cities,” said a Wal-Mart spokesman: “This is part of our policy of getting as close as we can to customers.”

Market watchers have suggested that this format could enable the group’s UK subsidiary Asda to get round the UK planning restrictions that are making it harder to open large out-of-town supermarkets.