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PHOENIX -- Plans for Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market here have reportedly expanded to include seven more locations than originally estimated, bringing the total to nearly 30 stores, plus an additional distribution center in the area if the launch is successful.
The first of Tesco's U.S. stores will open in late October and early November, according to a report in The Arizona Republic. The company previously revealed plans to build 20 stores in the area. The new store count is expected to employ a "couple hundred" residents from the area, a company spokesman told the Republic.
Earlier this week, Tesco released a list of Fresh & Easy locations in the Phoenix area. Locations include the following intersections:
-- Apache & Ellsworth, Apache Junction
-- 107th Avenue & Thomas, Avondale
-- Dysart & Thomas, Avondale
-- Avondale & Van Buren, Avondale
-- Alma School & Elliott, Chandler
-- Arizona & Chandler, Chandler
-- McQueen & Chandler, Chandler
-- 12th & Northern, El Mirage
-- Dysart & Greenway, El Mirage
-- Greenfield & Warner, Gilbert
-- Higley & Ray, Gilbert
-- 35th Avenue & Greenway, Glendale
-- 43rd Avenue & Cactus, Glendale
-- 59th Avenue & Olive, Glendale
-- Crimson & Guadalupe, Mesa
-- Recker & Brown, Mesa
-- Sossaman & Southern, Mesa
-- Stapley & McKellips, Mesa
-- Alma School & University, Mesa
-- Gantzel & Ocotillo, Queen Creek
-- 19th Avenue & Baseline, Phoenix
-- 19th Avenue & Glendale, Phoenix
-- 32nd Street & Greenway, Phoenix
-- 7th Avenue & Indian School Road, Phoenix
-- Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard & Shea, Scottsdale
-- Dobson & Queen Creek, Sun Lakes
-- Kyrene & Ray, Tempe
"We want to be in every neighborhood," Simon Uwins, Fresh & Easy c.m.o., told the paper. "We're still looking for more sites."
Tesco is planning a mix of locations, from the inner city to the suburbs, in an effort to be accessible to a variety of markets.
The focus of stores will be an area called Kitchen Table, which will serve as a food information desk. There, customers will be encouraged to stop and chat with employees trained to answer questions, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
"What we're trying to do, really, is design a food store for the kind of life people live today," Uwins said. "In the end, what we're trying to do is provide people with fresh, affordable, high-quality products in their neighborhood. That's what people told us they wanted."
U.S.-based competitors are also beefing up plans to battle with the British retailer.
"We don't exactly know what they are going to do in their stores," Michael Schlotman, c.f.o. of Ralphs parent Kroger Co., was quoted by the LA Times as telling investors. "But you can rest assured [Kroger is] strategizing on exactly what kind of a reaction we need."