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Fresh & Easy to expand to Bay Area

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San Francisco British grocer Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market said it will expand into the San Francisco Bay Area in early 2011, according to a Thursday report by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fresh & Easy, which is owned by U.K.-based Tesco, will open seven stores, including one in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood, that will feature automated checkout lines and fresh-made meals in addition to the standard fare.

"We wanted to establish a post-melting-pot (food) format that reflected the wide diversity of the U.S. market and U.S. consumers," said Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason, who has opened 160 stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada since he arrived in Los Angeles in 2006.

New stores slated to open in 2011 are in San Francisco, San Jose, Danville, Pacifica, Vacaville, Walnut Creek, and Concord, Calif.

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