CHESHUNT, England — Tesco  said Tuesday it plans to “mothball” 13 Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market locations by Nov. 2, with plans to reopen them “when the housing and employment markets [in those neighborhoods] pick up.”
The 13 stores include six in Arizona, six in Nevada and one in Southern California, the company said.
It also announced plans to open 19 new stores in the second half of the year — and to open 200 more within two years — “with a continued focus on areas where the local economy has been less severely hit and where we are seeing substantially stronger sales performance.”
A Tesco spokesman said the company will focus its Fresh & Easy openings “around coastal California.”
Tesco also reiterated plans to move into Northern California next year.
For the six-month period that ended Aug. 31, Tesco said its U.S. division, which encompassed 159 stores, lost $151 million (U.S.), while sales rose 47% to $392.7 million and same-store sales rose approximately 10%.
“Sales per store are rising steadily towards the levels we require, and losses per store are reducing," the company said. “Full-year losses have plateaued, although we do not expect this year's losses to be materially different from last year.”