Tesco's Fresh & Easy Web Site Live; CEO Leahy "Encouraged" by U.S. Prospects

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Tesco's U.S. Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market yesterday launched a Web site, www.freshandeasy.com, as part of an ongoing effort to provide news and information about its stores, culture, and philosophy.

"As we prepare to open stores in neighborhoods throughout the West, we [want] to provide consumers with a tool to learn more about Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and the opportunities that will be coming into their communities later this year," said Fresh & Easy c.e.o., Tim Mason.

The site provides prospective shoppers with a background on the company, insight into its strategy and philosophy, and hints at what shoppers can expect from its stores.

"Smaller than the usual supermarket, our 10,000 square foot shops will be easily accessible and offer everything from everyday staples to gourmet items," Tesco said on the site. "Lots of fresh and delicious food choices, including pre-prepared and organic foods, will make healthy eating convenient and affordable. In particular, our own Fresh & Easy line of products will have no added trans fat and no artificial colors or flavors. The simple packaging and labels on our private brand will help you see exactly what you're bringing home - great food you can trust."

In addition to a newsroom with current and past press information about the company, new information on the site includes sections highlighting:
- The Fresh & Easy shopping experience and information on the Fresh & Easy line of products
- The company's commitment to minimize its impact on the environment
- The company's commitment to being a good neighbor
- What it means to be a part of the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market team and details on the application process
- A "Your Thoughts" area, where consumers can provide feedback about the company or its stores

As stores open in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, specific store locations and details will also be available on the site, the company said.

Terry Leahy, Tesco's c.e.o., said earlier today that he is "increasingly encouraged" by the prospects for success in the U.S. with the new format. Leahy was quoted by Reuters as saying the company's startup costs for the U.S. operation were around 65 million pounds ($129 million). He also said he anticipates the U.S. business to become in its third year.

The chain also reported a record 2.55 billion pounds ($5.1 billion) in annual profit this morning, and doubled the amount of its cash dividend to shareholders.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is a division of Tesco, the United Kingdom's largest retailer with more than 2,800 stores across 12 countries and more than 370,000 employees.
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