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Tesco Announces 7 Local Store Locations

Tesco, a British grocery and general merchandising retail chain, announced June 20 its plans to open seven stores in San Diego County by year end.

The stores, called Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, are the retailer’s attempt at revamping American grocery shopping, emphasizing centralized shopping and value prices.

The venture marks part of Tesco’s initial entry into the U.S. marketplace.

Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets’ chief executive officer, named the store locations June 20.

The division will have stores in Fallbrook, Vista, Escondido, Casa de Oro and Chula Vista by the holiday season. It will also have two stores in the city of San Diego , one in Point Loma and the other in San Carlos.

Based on the company’s U.S. market research, average consumers visit multiple stores to find all the groceries they need, and Mason said they are ready for a one-stop shop where prices stay reasonable. Fresh & Easy is comparable in size to an average Trader Joe’s, at 10,000 square feet, and will focus on fresh, nutritious foods in central locations.

“We think our stores’ approach to bringing fresh, high-quality foods to the neighborhood will be a hit with San Diego customers in particular,” said Mason.

The challenge for Tesco will be finding that balance, given all the desired needs.

Simon Uwins, the division’s chief marketing officer, says keeping things simple is the key.

“We are relatively small in square footage, and therefore can only stock just over 3,000 products. That example in itself creates simplicity,” said Uwins.

Interested in environmentally friendly business practices, Fresh & Easy recently announced the installation of a solar panel roofing system at its distribution center, which is under construction in Riverside.

The panels should generate 20 percent of the energy that will be used at the center.

, Liz Wiedemann

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