Wal-Mart is reportedly mulling the launch of a smaller convenience-style format to counter the entry of Tesco into the US market.

The rumours were sparked by Wal-Mart's appointment of David Wild, a former Tesco executive, as head of new business development at Wal-Mart's US division. Wild joined Wal-Mart in 2004, having previously held various positions at Tesco including supply chain chief and CEO of Tesco's Central European operations.

Wal-Mart declined to comment on the suggestion that it is developing a new format. "We aren't commenting on this speculation for competition reasons," a spokesperson told just-food. "We are constantly looking at ways to develop our business and improve the service we offer to consumers," the retailer added. 

Last month, Wal-Mart announced a new concept for its smaller-scale Neighbourhood Markets, which included a new look and increased emphasis on freshly baked goods and fresh produce.