Tesco is Quietly Expanding its U.S. Presence

Tesco, which in the past had talked about taking its U.S. expansion slow, seems to be moving full blazes ahead with its growth in the California market.

British retailer Tesco has tripled the number of fresh express grocery stores it plans for Orange County.

Early Wednesday, Tesco – whose reputation in Europe rivals that of Wal-Mart in the United States – said it plans to open at least 100 Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in the U.S. by February 2008. Among those will be six stores planned for Fullerton, Laguna Hills, Orange, Anaheim, Buena Park and Huntington Beach, according to the state's Alcohol Beverage Control office in Santa Ana. Previously, only two Tesco locations in Orange County were known.

The extra Tesco stores slated for the county could give local shoppers a reason to abandon traditional supermarkets, particularly if there is a work stoppage or strike similar to the grocery industry labor dispute of four years ago. Representatives for supermarket owners and workers are meeting to discuss a new labor agreement, and both sides recently have indicated a strike or lockout is possible.

For background on Tesco's plan, check here and here.

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