Tesco, the United Kingdom's largest mass merchant, is ramping up its music operations by rolling out CD sales to its gas stations.

U.K. dance band Faithless is to be the first and, for the time being, sole beneficiary of the month-long trial promotion with 420 U.K. Tesco petrol forecourts set to stock the veteran electronic act's latest studio album "The Dance" (Nate's Tunes) from Sept. 1.

Earlier this year, Faithless partnered with Tesco as the exclusive physical retailer for "The Dance" in the U.K. The album entered the Official Charts Co. U.K. albums listings at No. 2 with 30,000 sales.

The retailer, which is the only U.K. outlet to offer major album exclusives to date, claims "The Dance" has sold almost 70,000 copies since release three months ago. The album is also sold as a download via iTunes.

All gas station sales will be chart eligible, according to Tesco, who says that the addition of 420 new retail outlets to its existing music offer enables customers to buy "The Dance" in approximately 1,200 Tesco outlets nationwide.

In line with the promotion - the first time that Tesco has sold music in any of its U.K.-wide petrol forecourts - the mass merchant will also run a Faithless competition via specially branded petrol pump nozzles in 100 of Tesco's biggest gas stations.

The retailer predicts that the advertising campaign, which offers customers the chance to win a special edition Faithless Fiat Punto Evo car, will reach over 4 million motorists during its month-long duration.

In August Faithless announced that it had partnered with Italian car manufacturer Fiat on a promotional video for the band's new video "Feelin' Good" (Billboard.biz, Aug. 9).

In a statement, Tesco entertainment director Rob Salter said: "Securing the future of the CD market means constantly trying new things and reaching out to new audiences in new ways."

"The world has changed and nearly 90% of music outlets, like Tesco, major on products other than entertainment. Music has to be prepared to do new things in new ways in order to justify its shelf space," Salter went on to say.

He added that although Faithless is currently the only music act to be sold in its gas stations, if the promotion proves successful he would like to see "a fuller music offering in all Tesco's petrol outlets in the run-up to Christmas."