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    Fresh & Easy Moves into Sacramento Area

    Company to open four stores and plans to make additional Northern California store announcements next month.

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, the U.S. unit of Britain's biggest grocery retailer, plans to open four stores in the Sacramento area, according to liquor license applications with the state, the Sacramento Bee reported.

    The locations named in the filings include 3311 Northgate Blvd. and 3615 Bradshaw Road. Two Folsom sites, 25000 Blue Ravine Road and 9522 Greenback Lane, also are cited.

    Fresh & Easy spokesman Brendan Wonnacott on Monday acknowledged the company has bigger plans for Sacramento and the surrounding region, the report stated.

    "We'll be making a formal announcement of more (Sacramento) store sites next month," he said. The company plans to name several Bay Area store locations on Wednesday, but Wonnacott declined to say when any of the Northern California stores would open.

    Fresh & Easy's entry into Northern California continues Tesco's aggressive global expansion plans, intended to offset its slowing growth at home, according to the Sacramento Bee.

    Tesco, based in Cheshunt, England, already has opened about three dozen Fresh & Easy markets in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. It has plans to open at least 200 in those three states by the end of this year.

    The Bay Area's Fresh & Easy sites include so-called "food deserts" -- poor neighborhoods underserved by grocery stores, Wonnacott said in the report, adding that the chain is committed to finding similar sites in the Sacramento area.

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