Fresh & Easy to Open First Stores in N. California

San Francisco Bay area to get eight locations in early 2011

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc. has announced plans to open eight convenience grocery stores in Northern California in early 2011. These stores, located in the San Francisco Bay Area and Modesto, will be Fresh & Easy's first north of Fresno and will create about 160 jobs in the region.

Fresh & Easy first opened in Southern California in November 2007, and has steadily expanded in the state since, moving into Bakersfield in December 2008 and Fresno earlier this year. Next month, Fresh & Easy will open nine stores in California, [image-nocss] including the grocer's 100th store in the state.

"We're excited to continue opening new stores and creating jobs throughout California," said Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy CEO. "Customers love our stores and we are eager to introduce Northern California to Fresh & Easy and our fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices."

Northern California stores opening in early 2011 are in San Francisco, San Jose, Danville, Pacifica, Vacaville, Modesto, Walnut Creek and Concord.

Fresh & Easy has created more than 4,000 jobs in California, Arizona and Nevada, it said. Entry-level positions start at $10 an hour in California and offer quarterly bonuses of up to 10% as well as a 401(k) with company match. The company said that it believes everyone deserves access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare and provides all employees the opportunity to work at least 20 hours per week, which entitles everyone to vision, prescription drug, dental and medical coverage with Fresh & Easy paying at least 75%.

El Segundo, Calif.-based Fresh & Easy operates more than 150 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. In addition to wholesome, fresh prepared meals, meats and produce, Fresh & Easy offers national brand products and household items. The grocer's fresh&easy brand products contain no artificial colors, flavors or added trans fats and use preservatives only when absolutely necessary.