Tesco‘s US venture, Fresh & Easy, is to open eight stores in North California in early 2011.

The stores, located in the San Francisco Bay Area and Modesto, will be Fresh & Easy’s first stores north of Fresno and will create around 160 jobs in the region, the firm said yesterday (19 August).

Fresh & Easy opened its first store in Southern California in November 2007. Next month, the retailer will open nine stores in California, including the grocer’s 100th store in the state.

“We’re excited to continue opening new stores and creating jobs throughout California,” said Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy CEO. “Customers love our stores and we are eager to introduce Northern California to Fresh & Easy and our fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices.”