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Tesco Reveals Plans For California Stores

British grocery chain Tesco, which prides itself on its green image, has revealed specific plans for its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market rollout in California’s Inland Empire area of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. The company will open 48 Fresh & Easy stores in the Inland Empire. Fresh & Easy, a new concept for the United States, also will open stores throughout Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas starting in November.

Fresh & Easy stores, Tesco has said, will offer fresh, high-quality foods and prepared meals in roughly 10,000 square feet. Customers are expected to pop in at least once a week to supplement trips to warehouse stores or larger supermarkets.

Credit Suisse Group estimates Tesco might capture $8.2 billion in U.S. sales by 2011 and take 5.6 percent of the $68 billion in the U.S. markets it enters, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Warren Buffett has purchased a 2.9 percent stake in the British supermarket chain since it announced plans to enter the U.S. in 2006. More investors agree, wagering Safeway shares will fall on expectations Tesco will grab sales and erode the U.S. firm’s profit margins.

What impact Tesco’will have on consumers’ green perceptions is unclear. According to research released in May, Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and Trader Joe’s are considered by UK and US consumers to be the top green brands.

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