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• Tesco’s US division, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, announced yesterday that it plans to open four stores in July, including the first of the company’s units to be located in Pasadena, Oxnard and Santa Barbara counties.

Fresh & Easy currently operates 120 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.

• Fresh & Easy also announced yesterday that it “will be introducing over 1,000 new products to existing stores over the summer. Customers should expect to see more Fresh & Easy brand products, larger pack sizes, more national brands, as well as exclusive new lines of national brand quality products at unbelievably low prices.”
KC's View:
There are people out there who keep predicting the imminent demise of Tesco’s US ambitions…but these announcements suggest that Tesco is doing exactly what it said it would do when it revised its US strategy. It is slowing down the store opening process and expanding its product selection, hoping to build a stringer foundation on which it eventually can fast-track its expansion plans.

Some of this is because of the recession, and some of it is because Tesco miscalculated.

It was Soichiro Honda, the founder of the eponymous car company, who once said that “success is 99 percent failure.”

The jury remains out on Fresh & Easy, but I like the idea that the folks out in El Segundo aren’t giving up.