An American in Tesco

Fresh & Easy, the U.S. subsidiary of UK supermarket powerhouse Tesco, announced this week it will begin accepting American Express cards at its 59 stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

Analysts said last week that Tesco’s Fresh & Easy chain–a $2 billion undertaking that began five years ago–was missing sales targets by up to 70%, while Tesco itself was struggling amid the UK’s rough economy and tough competition, according to Guardian News, a UK-based newspaper.

Fresh & Easy stores aim to provide supermarket shoppers with smaller locations that offer freshly prepared meals and produce.

While Tesco leaders are hoping the Fresh & Easy brand will eventually grow into a network of 1,000 stores across the West Coast, they say the recent decision to begin accepting American Express cards at the stores was prompted by customer needs.

Said Fresh & Easy CMO Simon Uwins: “Customers asked us to accept the American Express Card in our stores and we listened.”

The company is hoping the new payment option will also present opportunities for customers to earn various rewards with purchases.

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