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    Fresh & Easy Opens 50th Unit

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market here yesterday opened its 50th store, in Palm Desert, Calif., and said it will open an additional three stores by the end of the week -- one in North Las Vegas and two in Henderson, Nevada.

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market here yesterday opened its 50th store, in Palm Desert, Calif., and said it will open an additional three stores by the end of the week -- one in North Las Vegas and two in Henderson, Nevada.

    "Opening our 50th Fresh & Easy is an important milestone for us," said CEO Tim Mason. "We are very encouraged by the response from our customers and new neighbors. We are excited to continue bringing fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices to all types of neighborhoods."

    Tesco, the UK's largest retailer and parent company of Fresh & Easy, said it is investing over $2 billion in the U.S. over five years. Last month, the company detailed an expansion into Northern California with 18 stores in the Bay Area slated to begin opening in 2009. It said it would disclose the sites of planned stores in the Sacramento market by the end of the month.

    In other Fresh & Easy news, the retailer said it had teamed up with American Forests, a tree restoration organization, to plant 1,000 trees on behalf of its customers as part of a tie-in to a greeting card recycling program the retailer ran during the holidays.

    Following the holidays, Fresh & Easy stores collected greeting cards from employees and shoppers to be recycled, with proceeds going to American Forests, which will plant a tree for every dollar raised.

    In addition, as part of Fresh & Easy's commitment to being a responsible steward of the environment, the company has committed to build LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings, recycle or reuse all shipping and display materials, and has voluntarily joined the California Climate Action Registry to disclose its greenhouse gas emissions. The company also invested in California's largest solar roof installation on its distribution center in Riverside.

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