A Tesco supermarket is seen in west London. Photo: Reuters

LONDON – British supermarket group Tesco has thrown down the gauntlet to German discounters Aldi and Lidl by launching what it said would be the cheapest store in town. 

The chief executive Dave Lewis unveiled Tesco’s new Jack’s chain yesterday, saying the discount stores would sell 2 600 products. 

The first two Jack’s stores will open to shoppers today, with another 5 to 10 following in the next six months as Tesco copies the tactics of the German discounters, whose limited-range stores have won over increasing numbers of British shoppers since the economic crisis hit in 2008. 

Together Aldi and Lidl now have a combined 13.1 percent market share in Britain, chipping away at market leader Tesco and its three biggest rivals Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons. 

Jack’s is named after Jack Cohen, who in 1919 founded the business that has become Tesco, and is a significant move by Lewis, who has rebuilt Tesco after a 2014 accounting scandal capped a dramatic downturn in trading. 

The first two Jack’s stores are located in Chatteris and Immingham, both in eastern England, and media reports have said that up to 60 existing outlets could be converted.