Tesco Slows Fresh & Easy Expansion Plans

Tesco is slowing its U.S. expansion plans for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Simon Uwins, the company’s chief marketing officer, told SN yesterday.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Tesco is slowing its U.S. expansion plans for Neighborhood Market, Simon Uwins, the company’s chief marketing officer, told SN yesterday.

“We had plans to ramp up expansion right before the end of our fiscal year [in late February],” he said, “but in the current economic environment, we’ve decided to keep expanding at the same rate we have been.” That rate would be an average of two stores a week, he said. At one time Tesco had hoped to have 200 stores in operation by the end of February. With the opening of a store yesterday and two more scheduled for today, it will have 102 stores in operation in Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The decision to not ramp up expansion could affect the timing of the chain’s move into Northern California, Uwins said. The company is building a distribution facility in Stockton, Calif., and once that facility is available, “We’ll take a look to determine when to begin expanding in Northern California,” he said.

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