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What was once a temporary breather to see how operations were going has become an admitted slowdown in expansion. UK retailer Tesco says it is no longer planning on having 200 US Fresh & Easy stores by February and now expects to hit that number next year.The company, which has rolled out stores on the West Coast for the past year, hit its 100th unit recently. It currently operates in Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas.Tim Mason, Tesco’s head of US operations was quoted saying: “The industry is in a very different place than when we came out and did the feasibility research three years ago. Then the U.S. consumer confidence index was at the highest level it had ever been. In October the U.S. consumer confidence index was the lowest it has been since 1967, so it’s a big change.”We don’t think this is that big of a surprise, given the insanity going on in the retail world right now. But Fresh & Easy stores have low price points, a small footprint and have created a lot of buzz. Isn’t that what landlords are craving right now?[polldaddy poll=1105749]

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