Tesco will open its first smaller-format US store in November.

The Fresh & Easy Express will be half the size of existing Fresh & Easy stores, at around 4,000 sq ft. The new format will be pioneered in southern California. Others are expected to open in areas that cannot accommodate a full-size store.

However, Tesco’s primary focus will remain on Fresh & Easy’s regular format stores. It recently opened 12 new stores in northern California, including two in San Francisco. The retailer is also gearing up to start testing its US loyalty card at seven stores in central California. The scheme begins in the autumn.

Meanwhile Fresh & Easy has been placed third in Kantar Retail’s Hot 100 Retailers list, which ranks US chains with the greatest increase in domestic sales between 2009 and 2010. Fresh & Easy grew its sales by 37.8% over the period.

The chain, which reportedly sustained losses of £186m last year, has been given until the end of the 2012-13 financial year to break even by Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke.

Read more
Daily Bread: Mason's two-way Main Street (20 July 2011)
Tesco takes Clubcard to America to buoy Fresh & Easy (18 July 2011)
Daily Bread: How to win friends and influence people (18 July 2011)