Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Hits - and Passes - 100-Store Milestone in Southern California Today

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market will open two new stores in Southern California this morning at 10 a.m., taking the fresh food and grocery chain to - and then over - the 100-store milestone in the Golden State's southland region.

The two new stores - at 655 East Bonita Avenue, in San Dimas, and 2249 Los Posas, in Camarillo - will mark the 100th and 101rst Fresh & Easy markets opened and operating for Tesco in Southern California.

After the stores open later this morning, Tesco will have 164 Fresh & Easy small-format fresh food and grocery stores operating in California, Nevada and Arizona.

The majority of the 164 Fresh & Easy stores, 115 units, are in California - the 101 stores in Southern California and seven stores each respectively in the Bakersfield and Fresno metro regions in the Central Valley - followed by 28 units in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, and 21 units in metro Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tesco opened its first Fresh & Easy stores in Southern California in November 2007, although the units in Hemet had a soft opening in October 2007.

On March 2, the grocer plans to open its first two stores in Northern California, something Tesco originally planned to begin doing in early 2009, but instead has postponed until next month because of the less than stellar performance of its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain to date. Tesco has lost over half a billion dollars on its operations of Fresh & Easy, and that doesn't include start up costs, since the first stores opened in November 2007.

But its 2011 and Tesco's Fresh & Easy is putting nearly all of its new store opening focus for the year in California. After tomorrow's openings, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market will have thus far opened nine new stores this year, all in Southern California. A tenth new store in the region, at Atlantic Avenue and 33rd Street in Long Beach, is set to open on March 30.

Additionally, as we've previously reported, Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has 11 stores scheduled to open in March-April in Northern California, beginning with a store in San Jose and another unit in Danville, on March 2, 2011.

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