Retail giant Tesco is returning to the US with a chain of F&F clothing franchise stores, just seven months after selling its Fresh & Easy supermarket operation in the country.

The retailer said its F&F clothing line, which launched in the UK and Ireland in 2001, will now be available in seven branded stores on the east coast of the US this year. They will open in partnership with its US franchise partner, Retail Group of America.

The stores will feature full women's, men's and kids ranges with the first store opening near Boston in May. This will be followed by four stores in New York and stores in Philadelphia and Newport, Virginia.

"We're delighted to be bringing F&F's range of affordable fashion to customers in the USA this year, including four stores in one of the world's fashion and shopping capitals, New York," said Jason Tarry, CEO of F&F. "We've had a really positive response from customers in all of our overseas markets so we're hoping our American stores prove to be just as popular. F&F is fast becoming a true global brand, with franchise stores in ten countries around the world and more planned for the future."

F&F is currently available in 21 countries, including the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Turkey. The brand has also opened its first store in Armenia through its partnership with Al Hokair in Europe and Central Asia. F&F has already opened a number of stores in Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Georgia in partnership with Al Hokair.

The return to the US comes just seven months after Tesco quit the market. Under growing pressure from investors, the retail giant announced last year it was exiting the US, abandoning its capital intensive bid to expand in the world's largest grocery market through its Fresh and Easy format.

The sale brought an end to Tesco's six-year venture in the US, which ultimately proved unsuccessful, with the Fresh & Easy chain not having made a profit.