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    Tesco To Open 100 Stores in U.S. Debut

    Southern California will see rapid growth of U.K.-based chain.

    The Financial Times reported this morning that United Kingdom-based retailer Tesco hopes to open at least 100 stores during its first year of operations in southern California. The announcement confirms earlier analysis (CSNews, March 27th issue) that Tesco would enter the U.S. with a "big bang" -- with a large number of store openings in the first year, followed by rapid rollout thereafter.

    The largest retailer in the U.K., Tesco previously said it planned to make its debut in the U.S. in 2007 with a convenience-oriented format in Los Angeles and Phoenix. The Times said that a commercial real estate broker representing the retailer states that Tesco is looking for sites of about 4,500 square feet in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties for its planned c-store chain. After studying the U.S. market for a decade, Tesco said the new U.S. format will be similar in concept to its Tesco Express convenience stores, which offer a limited selection of prepared, perishable and packaged foods, as well as the usual c-store assortment found in the U.S. Some, but not all, Tesco Express stores in the U.K. also offer fuel sales.

    CSNews will offer its readers a sneak peak at one of the newest Tesco Express stores, which opened in London, in its August 7th issue.

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