Tesco’s ambitious attempt to break into the US grocery market with its Fresh & Easy convenience chain appears to be gaining traction with local shoppers, according to independent research. Financial Times.

Interviews with nearly 700 customers outside nine Fresh & Easy stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix found a strong positive reaction to the chain. The interviews were carried out by Execution Research, a boutique research house with no corporate relationship with Tesco.

'Fresh & Easy is the new cult retailer,'Execution wrote. 'At the risk of doing the job of Tesco’s public relations department, F&E is already an incredible success story.'

The research comes after speculation by journalists, bloggers and analysts that Tesco’s investment of £250m-a-year in the venture was failing to hit the mark with locals, resulting in low sales densities and few regular shoppers.