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Tesco Plans to Return to U.S. Market With F&F Fashion Stores

April 14 (Bloomberg) -- Tesco Plc, the U.K.’s largest supermarket operator, is returning to the U.S. with its standalone clothing store F&F, a year after selling its grocery business in the world’s biggest economy.

Tesco plans to open seven outlets on the east coast this year with franchise partner Retail Group of America, the Cheshunt, England-based company said in a statement late last night. The first will open in Boston in May, with planned locations including New York, Virginia and Maryland.

Tesco sold its unprofitable Fresh & Easy grocery chain to billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa investment company last year as the retailer struggles to defend its dominant share of the home market. Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke is trying to boost sales by adding businesses such as artisan bakeries to U.K. stores and expand the budget clothing business.

F&F now has 43 franchise stores in 10 countries and “we look forward to growing our presence with F&F in a number of key markets,” Simon Marshall, chairman of the Board of Retail Group of America said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gabi Thesing in London at gthesing@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net David Risser

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