EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market  here said Thursday it has eliminated "a small number of positions" at its corporate offices here.
The company declined to indicate how many jobs were eliminated nor in what areas. However, trade sources put the number at 40, with most in the area of real estate and support for new-store openings.
According to the company, "We are always evaluating the objectives of the business and assessing our programs. Many of our stores are moving into profitability, but since economic conditions continue to be challenging, we are taking a more cautious approach to our expansion plans to focus on ensuring our existing stores are profitable. As such, a small number of positions have been made redundant."
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Fresh & Easy’s parent company, Tesco , was quoted in the Financial Times of London saying that the layoffs are not an indication that it plans to “sell or close the business.”
“We remain committed to reach profitability, and these changes are about helping to achieve that.”
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For the fiscal year that ended Feb. 28 Fresh & Easy had a loss of $245 million on sales of $1.02 billion.
Fresh & Easy had 185 stores at the end of the last fiscal year, with plans to reach 230 this year, down from a previous goal of 300.
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