tesco opens the doors to us stores

British grocer delays opening its Arizona stores until December.

After quietly opening its first store in the Los Angeles market late last week, Tesco’s said its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets likely will not open in the Phoenix metro area until December, a company spokesman said.

The British grocer and third-largest retailer in the world plans to open six stores in Southern California by Thursday and five more in the Las Vegas area Nov. 14. The company also had planned to open an undisclosed number of stores in the Phoenix area this month, but now it says the stores will more likely open by the end of the year, The Arizona Republic reported.

A Tesco spokesman would not give the newspaper a date for any openings, say how many stores will open or discuss the reason for the delay.

True to its word, Fresh & Easy quietly opened the doors of one store near Los Angeles late last week and is testing operations there.

Fresh & Easy stores will be about 15,000-square-feet and carry fresh produce and a line of prepared meals. The company is expected to open 27 Phoenix area stores by 2008 and employ more than 500 people.

7ads6x98ycss.php