Tesco to open 1st US store next month


El Segundo-based Tesco USA said it will open its first American grocery stores in early November in Southern California.

The U.S. arm of the United Kingdom's largest retailer plans to open six Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The release did not specify which cities the Nov. 8 rollout will include. But the company's Web site shows a map with an upcoming location apparently in or near Redondo Beach.

Manhattan Beach already has approved a liquor license for a Tesco in the city.

The store openings will mark the much-anticipated entry of Tesco into an already crowded American market, as the British firm plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to open 200 or more stores in the western United States, including Arizona and Nevada.

By Dec. 31, Tesco expects to open stores in San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Last year, the company said it would create 2,500 jobs in its first year of operation.

"After great anticipation, we are thrilled to open our doors to neighborhoods in Southern California and offer them fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices," said Tim Mason, CEO of Tesco USA and its Fresh & Easy brand, in a statement. "We are also excited to demonstrate our strong commitment to being a good neighbor and a great place to work."

A Tesco spokesman could not be reached late Wednesday.

Tesco said it has spent years researching and planning its entry into the U.S. market. This has included Fresh & Easy researchers spending time in the homes of American consumers to look at shopping and cooking patterns.

Each store will employ 20 to 30 workers, whose workweeks will be 20 hours or more. Entry-level positions will start at $10 an hour in California with the potential for a 10 percent bonus.

"Tesco is a smart company," said George Whalin, analyst with Retail Management Consultants in San Marcos. "I'd be very surprised if they don't make it work."

Source : Daily Breeze