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Tesco puts brakes on expansion

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. Saying it needs to give its rapidly growing business time to “settle down,” Tesco has put a 90-day hold on expansion of its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets.

“We’ve given ourselves a little time to kick the tires, smooth out any wrinkles and make some improvements that customers have asked for,” said Tesco U.S. marketing director Simon Uwins in an online posting. “Quite simply, to allow the business we’ve created to settle down.” He noted that Tesco opened 31 stores during a 66-day period this year in what he described as “an opening program on steroids.”       

Tesco has opened more than 50 stores since debuting in the Los Angeles area Dec. 7 and has expanded into Arizona and Nevada. It initially planned to open 200 stores by the end of 2009, though it’s not clear whether the break in expansion will change that projection.

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