Sports Direct and Tesco, the U.K.'s largest supermarket chain and the world's third largest, are reportedly in advanced talks over sharing space at some of the grocer's biggest stores. According to a report in the Financial Times, the sports retailer could take on the mezzanine floors in three of Tesco's hypermarkets in the U.K. A similar joint venture has already been attempted in the Czech Republic, where Tesco cut a supermarket surface from 80,000 to 50,000 square feet and Sports Direct took the majority of the excess space. Tesco's chief executive, Philip Clarke, called earlier this year for an end to the so-called “space race,” opting for smaller, local stores for their everyday shopping in view of the increasing migration of consumers to the internet for the purchase of non-food items. The move in the U.K. would allow Sports Direct, which is similarly positioned in the low-priced segment of the market, to benefit from the generally high customer traffic at Tesco stores.

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