Tesco is investing heavily in a clothing and home furnishings catalogue, online sales and shop-in-shop fashion outlets. The British supermarket giant expects the comprehensive range to reach sales of £1 billion next year.

“We have a massive investment coming in and we are going to trial selling our clothing ranges online next year,” said Terry Green, fashion chief executive of the chain. “We have sold 20 percent more clothing than last year and it is a huge growth area for us.” Green, who joined Tesco in September after having worked at Topshop, Debenhams, Bhs and Allders, hopes ultimately to be able to compete with high street fashion chains such as Next, Topshop and Marks and Spencer. Although Tesco is considered a discount retailer, it has recently launched its “Collection” range, which is more upmarket. A spokeswoman for the chain said an online sales trial was scheduled for next year, although she was unable to specify a date.

With fashion sales of £750 million last year, Tesco is the fastest growing supermarket fashion retailer. The chain represents 11 percent of that market, following on the heels of Asda, the UK market leader with 17 percent.