Tesco and the French supermarket Carrefour have announced the end of a three-year partnership intended to provide greater choice and lower prices for consumers.
Neither company would specify why the alliance had fallen apart, though some have speculated it has been scuppered by import costs after Brexit.
The agreement will formally end on December 31.
In a joint statement, the supermarkets claimed their partnership had led to “a number of joint buying opportunities”, but they will now “work independently and focus on their own opportunities”.
When asked by The Guardian, a Tesco spokesperson denied that the UK’s exit from the EU had led to the alliance’s collapse.
Shore Capital retail analyst Clive Black told the newspaper there was “little notable benefit from the alliance on an ongoing basis”.
He added that the break-up was not a surprise, given that lower food prices were not “especially evident” while Asda was owned by the American multinational Walmart.
The news comes after Tesco revealed its profits had plummeted by 20 per cent over last year.
Although its grocery sales surged during the Covid-19 pandemic, this was offset by around £900 million in coronavirus costs.