The Californian bill that could force Fresh & Easy to add full-service checkout stands in its 126 stores has progressed past the committee stage.

If the bill, known as AB 183, is passed by the full assembly and California State Senate and signed into law later this year, the sale of alcoholic beverages at self-service checkout stands will be banned.

The move would heap further pressure on the business model of Tesco’s struggling US subsidiary. Earlier this month analysts from MF Global said that if passed, the law could signal “the beginning of the end” for Tesco’s American dream.

Tesco boss Phil Clarke has previously given the US business, headed by Tim Mason, until 2013 to turn around its fortunes and break even.

Read more
Looming booze law prompts new round of Fresh & Easy exit talk (9 May 2011)
Sales are great, but will Fresh & Easy really break even by 2013? (11 December 2010)