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space outside the UK. Stores in Ireland and Central Europe employ some 27 000 people. The company first moved into Hungary in 1994 and then to Poland in 1995, before entering the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1996. The company plans to have 69 hypermarkets across Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia by 2002. These hypermarkets will be 100 000 square feet or more, and will allow the inclusion of food and non-food ranges emphasising choice, quality, and value. Recent developments are detailed in Table 1.3.

Asia is the second international region in which Tesco operates. The Tesco Lotus business in Thailand has 17 hypermarkets, and a partnership with Samsung in South Korea manages two hypermarkets. The first Tesco store for Taiwan is planned for 2001. Further ambitious expansion plans involve developing to 34 hypermarkets in Thailand by 2002 and to over 50 hypermarkets in South Korea by 2005.

The company is also moving towards global sourcing, and has established three sourcing centres in Hong Kong, India and Thailand. These currently source 30% of Tesco non-food products, excluding health and beauty products. By 2003 it is anticipated that this will be 50%, when a fourth sourcing centre is opened in Central Europe.

The company appears to be following a classic 'think globally, act locally' strat-

Table 1.3 Tescc's growing interest in Central European markets (source: Tesco Annual Report, 2000)

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