Fresh & Easy to Enter Northern California

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market plans to open eight stores in the San Francisco Bay and Modesto areas of Northern California in early 2011. The new sites will be the company's first Golden State stores north of Fresno. The stores will be opened in the cities of San Francisco, San Jose, Danville, Pacifica, Vacaville, Modesto, Walnut Creek, and Concord.

"We [plan to] continue opening new stores and creating jobs throughout California," Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy CEO said in a released statement. "Customers love our stores and we are eager to introduce Northern California to Fresh & Easy and our fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices."

Fresh & Easy first opened in Southern California in November 2007, and has steadily expanded in the state since, moving into Bakersfield in December 2008 and Fresno earlier this year. Next month, Fresh & Easy will open nine stores in California, including the grocer's 100th store in the state.

According to company spokesperson Brendan Wonnacott, Fresh & Easy will initially use its sprawling Riverside distribution center to service its new Northern California sites, reported The company would need more stores north of Fresno to justify a logistics facility in that area, according to the report.

For the first quarter, the company's U.S. chain saw revenues increase by 37.8 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. Same-store sales for locations open at least a year have risen by "high single digits," Wonnacott told

Overall, the chain operates more than 150 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Fresh & Easy employs more than 4,000 people, the majority in California.

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