Five years ago, Tesco began its quest to become one of the largest grocers in the U.S. when it opened its first Fresh & Easy stores featuring mostly self-checkout kiosks. Today, that goal is far less lofty, according to USA Today.
The world's third-largest retailer announced Wednesday that it has suffered losses at its 185 Fresh & Easy U.S. stores that sell fresh produce to food deserts in California, Nevada and Arizona. Most of the food is prepackaged food, and kiosks replace the need for most human workers.
Despite investors' suggestions that the company close, it's instead opening 45 new locations by February. It has already opened 11 since the end of its fiscal year this February, putting total stores at 196, Fresh & Easy spokesman Brendan Wonnacott, told USA Today. Earlier this year, however, it announced plans to close 12 underperforming stores and says it will take another year for Fresh & Easy to be profitable.
Wonnacott said in hopes of satisfying customers, the company is adding bakeries and introducing more "loose products."
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