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    Tesco Confirms Fresh & Easy Opening Date

    After much anticipation and speculation, six California stores will open on Nov. 8.

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- British retailer Tesco has confirmed previous reports that it will be opening its first Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores on Nov. 8. Six California stores -- in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties -- will open on that date, the company announced yesterday in a news release.

    After years of researching American consumers and developing the Fresh & Easy format, the company said it views these grand openings as a milestone.

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

    Each Fresh & Easy store will employ 20 to 30 workers, who went through on-site interviews at the store locations, in an effort to hire people from the store's local neighborhoods, the company stated. Store employees are expected to work 20 hours or more, and will be eligible for comprehensive health care and other benefits, the company stated. Entry-level positions start at $10 an hour in California, and offer a potential bonus of up to 10 percent on top of that, according to the company.

    The stores, at approximately 10,000 square feet, are smaller than typical supermarkets to give customers a faster, easier shopping experience, the company noted. Along with a variety of private-label and national-brand foods, the stores will offer fresh prepared meals. All of the company's private-label products will contain no added trans fats, artificial colors or flavors, and have limited amounts of preservatives. Deliveries will be made daily to each store to ensure all products are as fresh as possible.

    In addition to these six locations, Tesco said its Fresh & Easy division will also open stores in San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas by the end of the year.

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