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February 27, 2008

UK: Tesco slams “scaremongering” US claims

Tesco has branded claims that its Fresh & Easy stores in the US have fallen short of expectations as “scaremongering”.

Tesco has branded claims that its Fresh & Easy stores in the US have fallen short of expectations as “scaremongering”.

The grocery giant told just-food today (27 February) that its US expansion plans are on track.

According to the Financial Times, Mike Dennis, an analyst at US broker Piper Jaffray, said the 50 Fresh & Easy stores opened around Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas were averaging sales of US$170,000 a week, against initial planned sales of US$200,000.

Dennis commented that the slow start would hit the company’s long-term earnings projections.

“As far as we are concerned, the reports simply seems to be about a lot of scaremongering,” a spokesperson for Tesco said. “It is ridiculous to make a judgement like that before full-year figures are released.”

Tesco said it was confident that customer numbers and sales are continuing to grow and claimed the stores continued to generate a lot of excitement among consumers, particularly in the poorer counties.

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