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Fresh & Easy Cuts Real Estate Positions

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market here said Thursday it has eliminated "a small number of positions — less than 40" — as its parent company undertakes a strategic review to exit the U.S.

The jobs are in the area of real estate, store design and recruitment, a chain spokesman told SN, "as we shift away from growth and expansion while keeping our stores open for business as usual."

Fresh & Easy, the U.S. arm of United Kingdom-based Tesco, operates 200 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. Tesco said in December it was considering exiting the U.S. by closing or selling all the stores, with an announcement expected when it holds its annual meeting in April.

Read more: Tesco Looks for U.S. Exit

Fresh & Easy eliminated 45 positions last July, most involving property development, "as we shifted away from a robust store opening program," the spokesman said. He said the company still employs about 200 people at its offices here.

People whose jobs were eliminated will receive a severance package that includes four weeks of pay for every year employed, Cobra coverage for six months and outplacement services, the spokesman said.

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