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• In the UK, the Guardian reports on Tesco’s struggles in the western US, noting that the company is closing stores - temporarily - in the “food deserts” that it originally targeted as being prime territory for its Fresh & Easy format, while at the same time opening stores in places like Hermosa Beach, “a mecca for surfers and young professionals about 10 miles south of Los Angeles airport where such offerings as largegrain couscous, pre-prepared chicken and broccoli alfredo, and $30 (£20) bottles of pinot noir from the Santa Rita hills near Santa Barbara have a more obvious customer base.”

According to the story, “The company's line is that it is fine-tuning its path to profitability and market visibility in what has been an undeniably tough economic environment ... But the picture is challenged by retail trade analysts and union activists who say Tesco has never properly understood the market, has alienated the communities it seeks to serve and has done a poor job of providing something that is both different and appealing.”

• Fresh & Easy announced that it has launched its own line of affordable vitamins and supplements, described as “offering customers even more options to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Like all fresh&easy products, the new range of twenty vitamins and supplements contain no artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.” The line of private brand vitamins and supplements are said to “provide many benefits, including supporting bone, urinary tract, prostate, heart, immune system, joint, prenatal, digestive, eye, and general health. They also provide antioxidant support, help energy metabolism and provide sleep support.”

• Sometimes you can’t win.

Take the case of Tesco in the UK. The company announced this week that as part of a broader effort to clash prices, it was going to begin selling five-packs of chocolate bars for just one British pound, or about $1.55 (US). That works out to 20 pence per bar, or about 31 cents apiece, or less than half what the bars are sold for individually.

Enter a number of health experts - who complained that lowering the price on chocolate would only serve to worsen the nation’s obesity crisis.

Tesco responded that it also has lowered prices on meat, seafood and fresh produce.
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