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Proposed bill could hurt Fresh & Easy alcohol sales


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. California congressman Hector De La Torre, D-South Gate, reportedly introduced a bill to ban the sale of alcohol at stores that only offer self-checkout.

Though not citing any supermarket chains specifically, the bill, titled "AB 523," would have a strong affect on Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores, which are located throughout the state of California, reports indicate.

Under current California law, when an attempt to purchase alcohol at a self-service checkout is made, the system will freeze up, allowing for a store clerk to check identification before the transaction is completed. According to some advocacy groups, however, it is still easier for minors to buy alcohol from self-service checkouts than it is to purchase it directly from a clerk.

Fresh & Easy would be disproportionately affected by the bill, as it is the only major grocery chain in California that utilizes a self-checkout only model. If the new law goes in to affect, the company would have to add a manned line to each store, according to reports.

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