Tesco opened its first stores in the United States in November 2007. Tesco trades as Fresh and Easy in the US, and bills its stores as discounted local neighbourhood stores at a size of roughly 10,000 sq ft.
By March 2008 Tesco had 50 stores in California and Arizona, and this has grown to 185 in 2012.
Tesco faced several setbacks in its plans for expansion in the US. Tesco was criticised in a report in August 2007 for its environmental policies, for not holding discussions with unions, and for not living up to its promises of promoting food access in low income area.
In December 2007, a Californian court ruled that its warehouse did not comply with environmental regulations. Please see an article in The Guardian for further information.
In March 2008, City analysts claimed that Tesco had failed to make the expected impact in America, with sales at Fresh and Easy reported to be missing targets by 70%.
In 2010/11 Tesco USA was losing £186 million and was deemed to be struggling in the US market.