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April 22, 2008

US: Fresh & Easy pushes green credentials

Fresh & Easy, Tesco’s US venture, has moved to boost its green credentials with a series of measures to coincide with Earth Day today (22 April).

Fresh & Easy, Tesco’s US venture, has moved to boost its green credentials with a series of measures to coincide with Earth Day today (22 April).

The company has joined The Climate Registry, a US body that is looking to measure a company’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The fledgling retailer added that it also plans to give away reusable “bags for life” at all its stores.

“We all have a responsibility to put thought into our impact on the environment,” said CEO Tim Mason. “At Fresh & Easy, we take this responsibility seriously, and strive to be good stewards of the environment. Collectively, we all can make a big difference.”

The business has come under pressure in recent weeks amid claims that it is missing internal sales targets.

Last week, Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy insisted Fresh & Easy sales were ahead of budget and said the venture would “last for a generation”.

Sir Terry admitted, however, that start-up losses at Fresh & Easy would rise from US$65m to $100m in the next 12 months, although he defended the increase, describing the losses as “containable”.

“Because we opened relatively late in the financial year, most of the opening costs have come into this financial year,” Sir Terry said. “Because the US is such a developed market, we have loaded up-front in terms of getting in experienced management and category management. We have lost a bit up-front but it will help us go faster down the line.”

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