US: Tesco cuts Fresh & Easy HQ jobs

By Chris Mercer | 21 January 2013

Tesco has cut jobs at the head office of Fresh & Easy, as it continues a strategic review that could lead to the firm's exit from the struggling US grocery chain.

A US-based spokesperson for Fresh & Easy confirmed to just-food that the chain, which is owned by UK-based Tesco, has cut "less than 40" jobs as its headquarters.

"We have cut a small number of positions in the head office as we continue the strategic review of the business," the spokesperson said late on Friday (18 January). "All our stores remain open and it is business as usual for customers and store employees.

"We are committed to helping the employees who are impacted and have put together a comprehensive package to support them and their families.”

The move is another sign that Tesco is winding-down Fresh & Easy, after what has proved a disappointing venture into the US grocery market, the heartland of Wal-Mart.

"My task is not to re-test the theory of entry but to test whether the time is right to exit," Tesco's CEO, Philip Clarke, told reporters in December when questioned on Fresh & Easy. "The journey to sustainable returns is going to take too long."

Expert analysis

Grocery Retailers in the US

In 2011, competition intensified among grocery retailers seeking to hold on to their share of consumer spending. Across the category, promotional activity increased as retailers sought to increase store traffic. Inflation in food and fuel prices squeezed consumers already pressured by years of challenging economic conditions. Supermarkets continued to expand their forays into new formats both at the upscale end and at the discounter end to appeal to narrower segments of consumers. Retailers are...

Sectors: Retail

Companies: Tesco, Fresh & Easy

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