Tesco has halted the rollout of Fresh & Easy, its chain of US convenience stores, while it reviews the performance of the fledgling business, a move likely to spark renewed speculation about the performance of Britain’s biggest retailer in the world’s largest consumer spending market. Sunday Telegraph

Tesco is understood to have called a three-month halt to the expansion of Fresh & Easy last week after opening almost 60 stores since last autumn.

Analysts have questioned whether US consumers have been left unimpressed by the format, which Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco’s chief executive, has pledged will make significant inroads into the US.

Tesco, which insists that the start-up is on track, has earmarked more than £250m for investment in Fresh & Easy. Leahy has staked his £10m-plus long-term bonus on the success of the venture, arguing that Fresh & Easy could eventually be as big as the core UK business.