Fresh & Easy Sets Fresno Openings

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets said last week it plans to begin opening stores in Fresno — its northernmost California market — before the end of the year, with five additional openings scheduled there in February and six more later in 2010 and into 2011.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets here said last week it plans to begin opening stores in Fresno — its northernmost California market — before the end of the year, with five additional openings scheduled there in February and six more later in 2010 and into 2011.

The company declined to indicate where its first Fresno-area store would be, nor specifically when it would open, although Fresh & Easy has already begun the hiring process to staff its store in Lemoore, a Fresno suburb. Currently its closest store is about 75 miles south of Fresno in Delano, according to its website.

Fresh & Easy, the U.S. division of London-based Tesco, operates 130 stores in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Southern California, with plans to move into Northern California's Bay Area and the Sacramento market area in the next year or so. Fresno is sometimes considered the dividing line between Southern and Northern California.

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