Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent flew to Burma this week to broker a deal that would see it source clothing from the country for its fast-growing clothing brand F&F.
Broadbent, who travelled with group commercial director Kevin Grace, is understood to be meeting suppliers and government officials as well opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. A spokesperson said: “They will be visiting Burma to develop sourcing relationships in the country.”
The retailer denied that it was looking to open stores in the country.
Britain’s big four supermarkets have been rapidly expanding their clothing arms to boost sales and offset falling footfall in their stores.
F&F, which launched in 2001, generates over £1bn of revenues for the company and has stores in 21 countries.
Tesco wants to open more than 50 new franchise stores over the next five years.
Other retailers, including Marks & Spencer, already have sourcing relationships with Burma.