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Tesco CEO: Fresh And Easy Could Close

June 29, 2012
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Tesco CEO Philip Clarke told guests at the British grocer’s annual meeting Friday that the company would consider leaving the U.S. market – thereby shuttering its nearly 200 Fresh and Easy groceries in the West.

Clarke said he did not expect Fresh and Easy to break even until the 2013-14 financial year, a year later than previously expected.

“If we see there is no chance of success, we’ll do as we’ve just done in Japan,” Reuters quoted Clarke as telling the annual meeting.

Tesco announced earlier this month that it would exit the Japanese market. It entered the market nine years ago and had about 75 stores.

Tesco is the world’s third-largest retailer, behind Wal-Mart and France’s Carrefour.

“It’s not about ego,” Reuters quoted Clarke as telling the group. “We are businessmen.”

Fresh and Easy lost $240.3 million last year, after losing $292.1 million in 2010, the London Telegraph reported.

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