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Despite store openings, Fresh & Easy reports $300 million loss


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Supermarket retailer Fresh & Easy, which operates stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, experienced increased losses this year, according to parent company Tesco.

The chain, which opened its doors in 2007 and has expanded its reach to include more than 165 stores to date, endured a loss of more than $300 million, during the 2010-2011 financial year ended Feb. 26, its parent company reported on Tuesday.

Despite the higher losses in the last year, the overall Fresh & Easy business remains on track to break even towards the end of the current financial year, Tesco said.

Philip Clarke, who officially took the helm of Tesco as its CEO on March 1, said that it is working to drive more customers into Fresh & Easy stores and is confident that improvements will be seen.

"The customers that shop at Fresh & Easy absolutely love it... we just have to get more customers into the stores to appreciate it," Clarke said in a post-results interview, adding that more efforts are being put into communicating Fresh & Easy's concept of offering high quality food at fair prices.

Clarke also noted that despite the losses, Fresh & Easy will forge ahead with its expansion.

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