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    Tesco Pauses U.S. Expansion

    The UK mega-retailer retailer is taking a three-month break from opening Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in the U.S.

    Tesco Plc has said it will take a three-month break from opening Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in the U.S., in order to give the business time to "settle down." So far, the retailer has opened 31 stores along the West Coast.

    Tesco opened its first U.S. store last November, and had planned to add 50 outlets in California, Arizona, and Nevada by February. Its goal has been to have about 200 U.S. stores by February 2009.

    "We've given ourselves a little bit of time to kick the tires, smooth out any wrinkles, and make some improvements that customers have asked for," wrote Simon Uwins, Fresh & Easy marketing director, on his Web log last week.

    "We've opened 31 stores in 66 days so far this year, now we're pausing for breath," Uwins wrote on March 26. "The next three months will allow us to accelerate this process, before we restart what's been described as an opening program on steroids."

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