Monday, July 26, 2010

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Now Giving Cash Back With Debit Card Purchases

Among the numerous complaints about Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's self-service checkout-only policy we've heard from readers and shoppers since we started Fresh & Easy Buzz in 2007 - they don't accept paper checks, they don't cash checks, they don't accept manufacturers' coupons, they don't take WIC Vouchers, for example - is that a customer can't receive cash back from his or her debit card at the fresh food and grocery markets, like shoppers can at nearly every other grocery store.

On July 24, Fresh & Easy Buzz reader Russell from Southern California sent an e-mail, informing us the Fresh & Easy store he frequents at Rosecrans and Douglas in Manhattan Beach, California has started giving customers cash back on purchases made with debit cards. Russell was even kind enough to send a photograph (above) of his Fresh & Easy receipt, showing the $50 cash back he received on his $4.99 purchase.

The scoop

Nearly three years after opening its first stores, Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's executives have decided to listen to those numerous shoppers who've complained to store employees since early on about not being able to receive cash back on debit card purchases. That's a good thing - but the execs are a little late on the draw. Better late than never though, right? Tesco opened the first batch of Fresh & Easy stores in November 2007.

The Manhattan Beach Fresh & Easy store, along with other units in Southern California, is one of the first Fresh & Easy stores to start allowing cash back.

Fresh & Easy is in the process of retrofitting the point-of-sale systems in all 159 of its stores in California, southern Nevada and Metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, so customers at those stores can receive cash back when they use their debit cards to buy groceries at the grocery chain.

According to our sources, all 159 of the Fresh & Easy stores are set to offer cash back with debit card purchases by the end of August, 2010.

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