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    Fresh & Easy Going Smaller

    U.K.-owned chain is looking for 5,000-square-foot sites in northern California.

    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, the Tesco-owned small format grocery store that has struggled since its debut in the U.S. in late 2007, is looking at smaller sites in northern California for expansion.

    Owned by the England-based supermarket giant, Fresh & Easy’s new stores would likely be about 5,000 square feet, compared to its current format of 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot units, according to the Oakland Tribune.

    "We're rapidly growing and always looking to serve more neighborhoods," said Brendan Wonnacott, a spokesman for Fresh & Easy, according to the Tribune. Wonnacott added that the chain will still primarily seek 10,000-square-foot sites where available.

    Fresh & Easy currently operates 150 stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, and has announced plans to open more than a dozen stores in Northern California starting in March.

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