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British grocer Tesco has made a lot of waves in the industry with the roll out and expansion of its Fresh & Easy chain on the West Coast. But now the retailer plans to slow down its growth.According to a blog by the chain’s marketing director Simon Uwins, the company is now “pausing for breath” before it continues to open stores. After opening its first 59 Fresh & Easy units in Arizona, California and Nevada, management will wait three months before a further roll out, with the exception of a few Phoenix stores.Why?Uwins points out that Fresh & Easy still has hundreds of stores in the pipeline, and that it has grown rapidly since opening the first location in November. Now Tesco needs time to “kick the tires, smooth out any wrinkles, and make some improvements that customers have asked for.”Not mentioned in the blog are problems with the economy or slowed construction of shopping centers. Additionally, grocers seem to have fared well so far in the economic downturn.Is Fresh & Easy’s slowdown prudent and simply good business in a real estate sector where many chains are accused of overexpansion? Or do you think the economy is playing a role in its decision?

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