The Tesco where sea slugs are on special offer
Last updated at 22:00pm on 30th January 2007 Comments
An offal lot of meat at the new Tesco in Beijing - click to enlarge
The familiar red-and-blue logo is much in evidence, while products on display include digestive biscuits and marmalade.
But this is no ordinary Tesco. Welcome to Legou Tesco, the first store to open under the company banner in the Chinese capital Beijing.
Despite the retailing expertise which has turned it into Britain's biggest name in shopping, Tesco has been keen to fit in with local tastes and tradition. So in place of pies and sausages there are cabinets stuffed with braised pig trotters, bundled together in fours by string.
With a practised prod, shopper Mei Wenhui tests the firmness of a huge rib cage crammed with several others in a huge metal bin. "It seems very good quality - very fresh and the price is low," says the 44 year old housewife.
Nearby, in large plastic dishes, offal - including tripe, hearts, unidentifiable intestines, livers and kidneys - from all manner of beasts, is displayed sliced, chopped and minced.
In the seafood section, large nets are available for customers to bag their preferred carp or eel, still swimming in tanks, while live turtles are also for sale.
Trays of hai shen, an ugly, black and hairy sea-slug which might have British shoppers calling hysterically for the health and safety inspector, are on special offer at £20 per lb.
One familiar British note is the courtesy buses which bring bargain hunters from the densely populated, high-rise Dacheng district in south-east Beijing.
British products, marked with a Union Jack, are confined to six small shelves.
Following other Western store giants such Carrefour and Wal-Mart, Tesco has been in China since 2004, initially trading under the name of its Chinese partner company.
Its 50 stores there will now all share the Legou Tesco name - Legou means "happy shopper".