U.K. Grocery Giant Hopes for U.S. Comeback

by Angela Nazworth | April 20, 2012 12:48 pm

U.K. Grocery Giant Hopes for U.S. Comeback

Along with its first-quarter earnings results, struggling British grocery giant Tesco (PINK:TSCDY[1]) announced on Wednesday a less-than-aggressive growth plan for its U.S. operation, according to a USA TODAY report[2].

Five years ago, the world’s third-largest retailer predicted that its U.S.-based Fresh & Easy stores would become an enormous success story. Unfortunately for Tesco, the stores have underperformed expectations.

Still, Tesco does not plan to leave the U.S. market, even though some investors encouraged just that, as TSCDY shares have fallen about 20% since the start of 2012. The supermarket chain, however, now is targeting early 2014 for profitability in its Fresh & Easy stores — it previously had targeted early 2013.

Tesco already had announced plans to close 12 failing Fresh & Easy stores. However, slowing growth efforts does not mean stopping expansion altogether. Fresh & Easy spokesman Brendan Wonnacott told USA TODAY that 11 new stores have opened since this February. The company also plans to open 45 more stores by February of next year.

Endnotes:
  1. TSCDY: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=TSCDY
  2. USA TODAY report: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/story/2012-04-18/tesco-fresh-and-easy-stores/54398260/1

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